MANILA, Philippines - Yeng Guiao knows that another woeful shooting from the field and the line could hasten Rain or Shine’s downfall in their best-of-seven title duel with San Mig Coffee for the PLDT MyDSL PBA Philippine Cup crown.
But the feisty Elasto Painters coach remains confident despite the Mixers taking a decisive win in Game Two, saying they will have a good crack at the crown if the series goes the full route.
“We struggled all game long with our offense. But I’m not worried,” said Guiao. “It’s a seven-game series and like I’ve said, the longer this series takes, the better for us. Winning Game One gives us that advantage, the adjustment advantage. Now, we can go make the adjustments and the series is still even.”
Guiao rued their miserable 37.2-percent field shooting and 50-percent foul shots as the Elasto Painters absorbed a stinging 70-80 setback Sunday.
He, however, believes his wards will settle down in time for tomorrow’s Game Three at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“We need to find the proper adjustments and execute better in Game Three. San Mig Coffee is too experienced a team. We can’t afford to let them seize the initiative,” said Guiao.
Truly, San Mig Coffee had a relatively easy time bouncing back from its 80-83 Game One loss with the Mixers pouncing on the E-Painters’ poor shooting in Game Two.
Acknowledging San Mig Coffee’s good defense, Guiao said what compounded their woes were bungled layups, open shots and free throws.
The Elasto Painters went 0-of-10 from beyond the arc and 10-of-38 overall from the field in the first 24 minutes of play, enabling the Mixers to seize a 37-24 lead at the half.
It was actually San Mig’s first win in four meetings with Rain or Shine in the season-opening all-Filipino tourney, but the series-equalizer could fire up the Mixers in Game Three.
The two-day break could also refresh the Mixers.
“It surprised me that the players were ready. I thought they were tired and we had nothing to give,” said San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone moments after their Game Two win.
“Ping (Marc Pingris) was very impressive and Joe (Devance) and Rafi (Reavis) played big as well, and I thought they kept James (Yap) and PJ (Simon) fresh throughout,” Cone also said.
After a surprisingly easy 4-1 romp over Petron in the Final Four, Rain or Shine came into the finals fresh compared to the San Mig team that was stretched to a full seven-game series by Barangay Ginebra in their own semis duel.
But the Mixers outhustled and outran the E-Painters in Game Two.
“Coach Tim has been doing a good job keeping his team fresh,” said Guiao.