Rain or Shine, Brgy. Ginebra KO duel todayBy Musong R. Castillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
COACH Yeng Guiao knows that Rain or Shine blew a golden chance Friday night.
Rain or Shine hit just 9-of-33 from three-point range in Game 2 of its best-of-three series with Barangay Ginebra two nights ago, and Guiao admits that’s the reason for today’s rubber match between the Elasto Painters and the Gin Kings.
“When they (Gin Kings) played us zone (defensively), I knew that we were going to get our chances (from the outside),” Guiao said on the eve of their do-or-die game with the Kings for a Final Four seat in the PBA Philippine Cup.
“We just weren’t able to hit our shots,” he continued. “But we would gladly take them all again if the opportunity presents itself (in Game 3).”
The decider is set at 5 p.m. at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao with the winner joining defending champion Talk ‘N Text, No. 2 San Mig Coffee and the surprising Alaska Aces in the Final Four.
Whoever wins today will advance to face the Mixers in a best-of-seven series, with the ‘three-peat’-seeking Tropang Texters and the Aces battling it out in the other semifinal pairing.
Those three-point shots weren’t the only chances that Guiao and his boys blew. There was also that potential game-tying play in the final 2.5 seconds where no Elasto Painter was able to get a hand on the ball in the final inbound play.
Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen also knows that they gave up a lot of three-point attempts, and said that they would need to address that.
“It’s going to be a really interesting game,” Tanquingcen said Friday night.
Jeff Chan is one of Guiao’s shooters who has been struggling in the latter part of the tournament.
“I’ve told Jeff that he is concentrating too much on his shots because he is in a slump,” Guiao said. “He shouldn’t be doing that. I just told him to continue taking those shots.”
Paul Lee was great yet again in just his third game of the season, and last year’s top rookie is again expected to be the spearhead of the bruising Rain or Shine game on both ends.
The Painters, the reigning Governors’ Cup champions who won the series opener pulling away, were in command of Game 2 only to go cold in the third quarter to yield the lead.
Despite the way they shot, and even if they were down by seven with a little over 80 seconds left, the Painters still put themselves in a position to steal the game.
And that is the form and rhythm that Tanquingcen cannot allow the Painters to play with tonight, otherwise, it could be a repeat of Game 1 all over again.