Rain or Shine import Wayne Chism (R) battles for the ball against Meralco's Cliff Hodge in their PBA Commissioners Cup quarter-finals game. Photo by Nuki Sabio, PBA Images.
MANILA, Philippines – Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao praised import Wayne Chism after the Elasto Painters advanced to the PBA Commissioners Cup semi-finals with a win over the Meralco Bolts Saturday night at the Araneta Coliseum.
Chism scored a conference-high 37 points to go along with 21 rebounds, out-playing Meralco counterpart Darnell Jackson to power RoS to a 97-96 overtime victory in their winner-take-all Game 3 in the quarter-finals.
“He just carried us in his shoulders,” Guiao said of Chism, in a report on PBA.ph. “He’s a far more superior import than Jackson, and I think that’s our advantage.” [http://pba.inquirer.net/44550/chism-led-rain-or-shine-bundles-out-meralco]
Chism was the recipient of criticism from fans at the start of the conference because of his offensive struggles, but Guiao stood by the import, pointing out that Chism made up for his scoring woes with his defense and rebounding.
“One thing we discovered after Game 1 – which we lost – is that their import couldn’t play defense,” Guiao said after Game 3. “We just attacked that weakness and exploited it.”
“We ran all our ball screens and pick-and-rolls on the import, and that’s how we got our openings and how we were able to survive Meralco in this series,” he added.
Guiao acknowledged that they had “no other plays.” “We just kept going to that in our last two games,” he said. “We just had one play, which is to force the import to play defense on our guards.”
With Chism dominating, Rain or Shine took an 11-point lead in the final period but the Bolts ended the fourth quarter with an 11-0 run, capped by a Gary David jumper with 4.4 seconds left to tie the game and force overtime.
Chism and Jeff Chan combined to give Rain or Shine the lead again, but David hit back-to-back triples to cut the lead to two points. Paul Lee, however, made two free throws that iced the game in Rain or Shine’s favor.
The Elasto Painters now have one day to prepare for their showdown against the top-seeded Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters in Game 1 of the best-of-five semi-finals.
“We’ll look at it as a challenge, and if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best,” Guiao said of their game against TNT. “That’s as simple as it gets.”