Guiao still confident even with Lee out
Painters, Llamados break tie todayBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Yeng Guiao’s words reverberated all over the press room Wednesday night and practically everywhere else the morning after.
Now, it’s time to make believers of those who scoffed at what he said.
“We will win this series, with or without Paul (Lee),” the firebrand Rain or Shine coach declared after a Game 2 loss to B-Meg that tied their best-of-seven series for the PBA Governors Cup championship at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.
The Elasto Painters get their chance to back up Guiao’s words when they break their 1-1 tie with the Llamados at 6:45 tonight without their prolific, all-around rookie.
Not since American coach Ron Jacobs, then handling guest team Northern Cement, has any coach brazenly announced in public that they would win a series.
Lee dislocated his left shoulder for the second time in just over a month in Game 2 and has been declared out for today. He is scheduled to undergo surgery on Aug. 6 but could play before that, or starting in Sunday’s fourth game.
The injury late in the last quarter left Lee wincing on the floor in complete agony, and despite having no idea of how bad it is, Guiao came into the press room and declared that the Painters would still come out on top in their first crack at the title.
“We will not make any excuses, we will just prepare and focus on the game,” Guiao said. Then he took another shot at his B-Meg counterpart Tim Cone.
“Tim Cone asked help from the referees (after the Game 1 loss) and got a lot of help tonight,” he said. “But you won’t hear me talk about that after this interview.”
Gabe Norwood, the first Rain or Shine player to win the Rookie of the Year award, will most likely man the point for the Painters in the absence of Lee, who is expected to win his ROY trophy before Sunday’s Game 4.
Guiao has a lot of experience in making Norwood play the point when he handled the Philippine team in three tournaments in 2009.