MANILA, Philippines – The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters are looking to take a page out of Alaska's playbook as they target a bounce-back victory in the PBA Governors Cup semi-finals Sunday night at the Araneta Coliseum.
Rain or Shine saw their five-game winning streak snapped by the Aces, 93-97, last Friday, allowing Alaska to take a 1-0 lead in their best-of-five semifinal series.
Alaska took advantage of Rain or Shine’s crucial mistakes in the endgame, and in the process gained a measure of revenge for the 51-point beating that the E-Painters dealt them during the elimination round.
Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao said his team knows how to bounce back from defeat, having started the conference on a poor note yet still entering the playoffs as the second seed.
"We've fallen behind early this conference, but we bounced back strong," he pointed out, as quoted by PBA.ph. "Sometimes, a loss does more for you than a win. It's really how we managed to turn this setback into a positive development."
For his part, Alaska head coach Alex Compton all but dismissed their 1-0 series lead.
"I'm young in coaching, but long enough in basketball to know that 1-0 is not that big a lead," he said. "What's important with this win is that at least we know now that we can beat this team."
"It's good for our confidence," he added.
Meanwhile, Guiao is confident that his team can bounce back even with key defender Gabe Norwood doubtful for tonight's game due to an ankle injury.
"He didn't practice (Saturday morning), but we're prepared to play without him," Guiao said of Norwood, who twisted his right ankle in the fourth quarter while attacking the basket.
"It's really just a question of sustaining our intensity. We can't slow down and let them dictate the pace," he added.
Game time is at 6 p.m.