MANILA, Philippines – Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao was all praises for his players following the Elasto Painters’ 88-83 victory over the Petron Blaze Boosters in Game 4 of their best-of-seven PBA Philippine Cup semi-final series.
Rain or Shine lost star guard Paul Lee to injury, and Guiao was ejected after incurring a second technical foul in the third quarter, but the E-Painters thoroughly outplayed Petron in crunch time.
Jeff Chan and Beau Belga hit clutch shots, and Rain or Shine held Petron to only one point in the final six minutes, allowing them to wrap up the victory that brought them to within one win of advancing to the Philippine Cup finals.
“Any team made up of softer materials would have folded up,” Guiao told PBA.ph. “The guys just didn’t give up. They won this game on their own.”
“I have nothing in this victory,” he stressed. “They lost Paul, and the lost me. But they kept their fighting hearts with them.”
“We beat them against the odds.”
Guiao was ejected with 6:15 left in the third quarter and Rain or Shine trailing 54-60. They had already lost Lee at that point as the former Rookie of the Year suffered an ankle injury in the second quarter.
“It’s a testimony to the character of the guys,” said Guiao.
Chan scored the go-ahead jumper and Belga added a triple that allowed RoS to take control in crunch time, and their defense held off the Blaze Boosters.
Speaking to PBA.ph before the game, Lee had said Guiao’s toughness had rubbed off on the team.
“Kailangan lang naming maging matatag,” Lee had said. “Kailangan tough lang sa laro, kasi si Coach Yeng, nagbigay na ng instruction na pag malambot kami, bibigyan lang niya kami ng dalawang minuto.”
“Sabi niya, ‘Pag di kayo aggressive, pag di kayo matatag, ibabangko ko na kayo buong series.’ Wake up call sa amin ‘yun, kaya kahit sino ang ipasok niya, lumalaban,” he added.