Painters eye 2-0 lead in PBA PH Cup finals
MANILA, Philippines — Yeng Guiao pointed to luck while Tim Cone blamed himself after Game 1 of the PLDT MyDSL Philippine Cup Finals that went the way of Rain or Shine.
And today (Sunday), the technically sound coaches have their work cut out with Guiao hoping to make it convincing for the Elasto Painters and Cone trying to steer his San Mig Coffee Mixers back in the groove in Game 2 of their best-of-seven series at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“We got lucky,” Guiao said minutes after the 83-80 Game 1 victory made possible by an inbound play inside the final 1.6 seconds that had Paul Lee completing an alley-oop pass from Gabe Norwood.
“I feel really horrible,” Cone said. “That (defensive breakdown) was on me. Yeng really did a brilliant play. That (lost) game was on me. Our guys really played hard. They gave us a chance to win it but I blew it for them.”
That was the Rain or Shine franchise’s first all-Filipino Finals victory after the Elasto Painters were swept last season by Talk ‘N Text. And in a series deemed to be super close, a 2-0 lead could prove insurmountable.
Game 1 was defense-oriented all the way and the Painters managed to squeeze in five points inside the final 22.5 seconds, with Jervy Cruz hitting the first two and Lee nailing the last point off a free throw because of a technical foul on San Mig.
San Mig showed no signs of being fatigued despite playing just a day after conquering elimination round No. 1 Barangay Ginebra in Game 7.
The Mixers even had an 80-78 lead going into the final 35 seconds after James Yap—who has regained his shooting touch in these playoffs—nailed two straight jumpers.
Rain or Shine, meanwhile, has continued to grind out victories. Friday’s win was its 13th in the last 14 outings.
“That game could have gone either way,” said Guiao.