COACH Yeng Guiao believes Rain or Shine is ripe for a championship.
Guiao, in fact, said his team's 0-3 record in the PBA Finals the past two seasons only made the Elasto Painters better prepared to deal with the adversity and the pressure when they take on Talk 'N Text in Game Seven of the Commissioner's Cup title series on Wednesday.
“Every time we make the semis or every time we make the finals, it always adds something to your knowledge, it adds up to your experience and to your character,” Guiao told Spin.ph after the team’s shortened one-and-a-half-hour practice at the oven-hot Nega gym in San Juan.
"And by this time, kung character, yung mental toughness, baka buo na, at yung character na yun hinog na."
The Elasto Painters played with a greater sense of urgency on Sunday, gutting out a 101-93 win over the fancied Tropang Texters to force the winner-take-all match this Wednesday.
The fiery Rain or Shine mentor maintained that after all they have been through the past three seasons, the law of averages will soon work in the team's favor.
“Sa akin naman kasi, every year and every conference, you try to get as far as you can get. If you don’t make it, you don’t lose anything. It just toughens you up and prepares you for the next one,” explained Guiao.
“Sa dami ng dinaanan namin sa semis at finals, one of these days, you will get it (championship). I hope we get it sooner.”
Rain or Shine’s 0-3 Finals record the last two seasons includes a 4-0 shutout loss to Talk ‘N Text in the 2013 Philippine Cup, a 4-2 defeat to San Mig in the Philippine Cup last season, followed by a 3-2 loss to the Mixers in the 2014 Governors Cup.
The Painters are determined to end the heartaches.
Jeff Chan, earlier ruled out of the series due to a torn right plantar fascia, played through the pain in Game Six, contributing 11 points in 11 minutes of play while giving the team a big morale boost.
“I wasn’t expecting Jeff to call me up and ask me to use him despite the pain, but he made significant contributions, both yung concrete and dun sa aspect ng inspiring the team and motivating the team,” he said.
“So to me, that’s the sign of the near completion of character that you need to win a championship.”
Combo guard Paul Lee, who got his front tooth knocked off by Talk ‘N Text import Ivan Johnson in Game Three, has been playing with a sprained right ankle and bruised right shoulder.
Backup guard Jonathan Jonathan Uyloan is also nursing a left shoulder injury, while import Wayne Chism managed to play through a strained right elbow and right wrist, which he hurt in Game Two.
“All the punishment Paul has taken, but he has just been playing through it, and then Jonathan Uyloan is also injured, he has torn shoulder, but he wants to play and that also translates to the other players, being able to absorb that kind of desire from the rest of his teammates kasi nakakahawa yun,” he added.
“I’m hoping that’s a good sign and those signs are enough for us to win Game Seven.”