MANILA, Philippines - The Elasto Painters’ confidence level surged after their 81-74 Game 5 victory Sunday and now that they’ve got back the old fire and power, they’re going all out to push the PLDT MyDSL PBA Philippine Cup title series to a winner-take-all match.
The protagonists meet in Game Six at the Smart Araneta Coliseum tomorrow.
“The big advantage is still on their side. But we’ll take a lot of encouragement and hope (on our Game Five win),” said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao.
The fiery Rain or Shine coach remains positive of their chance to win a second title for the Asian Coating Inc. franchise, and a very first all-Filipino crown in his personal record books.
“We’ll try to delay or postpone the celebration of San Mig Coffee. If we can delay it enough, it can be our celebration,” said Guiao, a six-time PBA champion coach all in import-reinforced tourneys.
Guiao, also a lawmaker representing District I of Pampanga in Congress, is on line to break his standoff with Tommy Manotoc as the league’s sixth winningest coach behind Baby Dalupan (15), Tim Cone (15), Norman Black (10), Chot Reyes (9) and Jong Uichico (8).
But Guiao knows they have to buck overwhelming odds.
“The way the series is going they’re not getting tired. We have to win it on merit,” said Guiao.
And after they chopped down their best-of-seven series deficit to 2-3, Guiao vowed they would fight it out to the very end.
“I told the boys we can’t lose that sense of destiny. Even if we’re behind, it’s not over. We have to believe in ourselves and stay positive. A win like this can turn around the complexion of the series,” Guiao said.
Believe the Elasto Painters did in Game Five which they won on second-half explosion of Jeff Chan and valuable contributions of Paul Lee, Gabe Norwood, Beau Belga, Chris Tiu, Ryan Arana and Jireh Ibanes.
Chan exploded for 23 points in the second half and a total of 24, but not lost on Guiao were the roles played by Tiu, Belga, Arana and Ibanes.
Tiu and Belga helped spark Rain or Shine’s decisive final-half runs while Arana and Ibanes provided the spunk and intensity on the defensive end.
Tiu, a complete non-factor in the first four games, made his presence felt with nine all-important points.
Chan best described their showing: “Ayaw talaga namin ibigay sa kanila yung series (We just didn’t want to give the series to them).”
At the end of the game, the E-Painters huddled at midcourt and agreed to heed their coach’s call: Fight to the very end.