Rain or Shine goes for kill vs Petron minus Guiao
MANILA, Philippines—Minus its coach for practically the third straight game, Rain or Shine tries to close out Petron Blaze Friday to book the first title series slot in the PLDT MyDSL Philippine Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Yeng Guiao, aside from being ordered to pay a P100,000 fine for conduct unbecoming a coach, will serve out a one-game suspension in the 8 p.m. contest, even as Rain or Shine management formally called on the Office of the Commissioner for improvement on officiating.
Guiao was thrown out in each of the last two contests, but the Elasto Painters still took a 3-1 lead in their best-of-seven series following an 88-83 Game 4 win Monday night.
And on Tuesday, commissioner Chito Salud dropped the penalties on Guiao, who was seen pointing a “dirty finger” to the direction of the PBA boss and technical officials in a 33-point loss in their previous game.
Lawyer Mamerto Mondragon, a past PBA chair who represents Rain or Shine in the board, wrote Salud a letter dated Feb. 4 formally asking for a review of Game 4 officiating where Jervy Cruz suffered a fractured nose because of a hard foul by Petron’s Alex Cabagnot in the final 27 seconds.
“We believe that the intensity of the playoff games is no excuse for unnecessary roughness,” Mondragon said in the letter. “Just as it is no excuse for poor officiating, which was glaring in the last game. We hope that the PBA officials will seriously attend to our concerns.”
Mondragon also called the suspension on Guiao as “too harsh.”
In a phone interview with the Inquirer, Salud said Guiao’s assertion that his actions were driven by a need to call out poor officiating were misguided.
“I know how important officiating is that’s why I made it my priority to improve on it,” said Salud. “But using that reason to justify such unsavory actions is, to me, misguided.”
Caloy Garcia will call the shots for the Painters, who didn’t have Guiao and super point guard Paul Lee in the final half of Game 4. Lee is expected to be back after a freak accident in the goal post that twisted an ankle.
A bevy of other personalities has stepped up to lead the Painters in the series, unlike Petron, which has become somewhat predictable by going almost all the time to June Mar Fajardo at crunchtime.