MANILA, Philippines - Rain or Shine hopes to feed on the memory of two crucial Game Three victories as it clashes with San Mig Coffee in a crucial faceoff at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Coaches Yeng Guiao of Rain or Shine and San Mig’s Tim Cone agree Game Three of the PLDT MyDSL PBA Philippine Cup Finals is vital as it was in their two previous best-of-seven showdowns.
Rain or Shine took the 2-1 lead in their 2012 Governors Cup finale and 2012-2013 Philippine Cup semifinals duel and the E-Painters went on to rule both series.
The Elasto Painters snatched a thrilling 83-80 victory in the series’ opener last Friday but the Mixers struck back with an impressive 80-70 win in Game Two Sunday.
That makes tonight’s Game Three a must-win for both teams and a must-see for the fans and supporters bracing for a slam-bang duel between two teams going all-out for the needed momentum in a series reduced to a best-of-five affair.
Guiao’s concern is how to impose their up-tempo game.
“They have been able to keep the game low-scoring which is to their advantage,” said Guiao whose troops were limited to a paltry average of 76.5 points in the first two games.
Cone said they expect a strong fightback from Rain or Shine but added the Mixers will be more than ready to foil them.
“The two days between games will help us. We feel we’ll be ready for anything they throw at us,” said Cone.
Despite their Game Two win, Cone has opted to downplay his wards’ chances.
“All we did was tie the series. They still dictate it. We’ll have to be ready to make in-game adjustments to the new things they will bring to the table,” said Cone.
Guiao said it will boil down to adjustment.
“Winning Game One gives us that advantage, the adjustment advantage. Now, we can go make the adjustments and the series is still even,” said Guiao.
Through the semifinals, Rain or Shine had been the second best team offensively with an average of 93.35 points a game.
San Mig Coffee is No. 10 through and through, averaging 84.08 through the semis and 80 in the series’ first two games.
The E-Painters should also forget fatigue coming into play.
“Coach Tim did a good job pacing his boys. They don’t look tired. We have to win the series on merit and not assume that they will burn out in time,” said Guiao.
Ryan Araña, hurting his left collarbone in a collision with Rafi Reavis, escaped without a major injury but will be a game-day decision for Guiao.