Guiao thinks finals-bound Rain or Shine even tougher today after first titleBy: Celest R. Flores
MANILA, Philippines — Its first franchise championship in the PBA last Governor’s Cup has certainly opened more doors for Rain or Shine.
Starting with another trip to the finals — this time, in the 2012-2013 PBA Philippine Cup.
“We’re coming off a championship, which contributed to our mental strength,” said head coach Yeng Guiao after beating San Mig Coffee, 90-83, in Game 6 en route to clinching the finals berth.
The Elastopainters played to their strengths all series long against the Mixers in the semifinals.
Guiao, who has been to the finals 11 times as a head coach, successfully managed his players’ minutes just as his players delivered every time they’re on the floor.
When key players like Jeff Chan and Paul Lee were on a slump, role players like Ryan Araña and Ronnie Matias stepped up to the plate.
“We were tougher. The experience really helped us,” said Guiao.
Guiao, who hasn’t had the chance to lift a trophy for an All-Filipino title, does not want to look far ahead so as not to add pressure.
But he knows that getting that trophy means more than just having that one thing left which he doesn’t have in his resume.
“You have to prove something every night and every conference — that we locals can reach the finals. That is really our motivation,” said Guiao.
The last time the Elastopainters were here, they had the best import in Jamelle Cornley doing the bulk of the damage.
So for Guiao, “yung makarating kami ng finals na kami-kami lang, it’s an incentive (Just to reach the finals with just us playing our games, it’s an incentive.)”
And the perfect ending to another successful season would be no less than a championship.
Rain or Shine gets a few days’ rest as they await the winner of the Talk N’ Text- Alaska series, which could end Friday or Monday.