Yeng Guiao hopes there is still fight left on the Rain or Shine tank when his team tries a third time to get its first Finals win against defending PBA Philippine Cup champion Talk ‘N Text on Sunday at the Big Dome.
The Elasto Painters failed during their first two tries, dropping Game 1, 81-87 after a slow start, then blowing a six-point second half lead as they succumbed to the Tropang Texters’ endgame run, 81-89 in Game 2.
Guiao said 0-2 remains a manageable deficit, but that Talk ‘N Text lead can become insurmountable once the team falls, 0-3 on Sunday.
“We’re not losing any hope. 0-2 is still manageable. I think we need to get back and win it on Sunday. Otherwise, it’s almost lights out for us,” said Guiao, a five-time PBA champion coach.
Rain or Shine needs to accomplish a few important things in order to put get back against the Tropang Texters:
1. Better field goal shooting– In the first two games, Rain or Shine shot just 35 percent on an average with Jeff Chan and Paul Lee failing to hit their marks most of the time.
Guiao said his boys need to be more confident in taking their shots come Game 3.
“We’re still struggling with our shooting percentage much like in Game One. Our shooting rhythm isn’t going… We just need to gain back our confidence with our shots. When we take our shots, it’s like we don’t believe our shots will fall,” he said.
Chan and Lee must lead the scoring parade, but other guys like Gabe Norwood, big boys JR Quinahan and Beau Belga along with Ryan Arana need to chip in as well to ensure a better showing for Rain or Shine.
2. Strong start, strong finish– Talk ‘N Text managed to dictate the tempo during the first two games. And TNT coach Norman Black said it’s been their defense that has allowed them to dictate the series thus far.
Rain or Shine need a more aggressive showing in Game 3 – a relentless running, gang-rebounding and better ball movement. Sustaining these key elements can lead to a strong-start-strong-finish performance.
3. Can-Beat-Talk ‘N Text-mentality– Losing the first two games of the Finals can obviously have a big effect on the players’ mindset. But knowing Guiao who is a great motivator, Rain or Shine is expected to come out with a “we-can-Beat-Talk ‘N Text-mentality” come Game 3.
History may not be kind to Rain or Shine since statistics show that 25 of the 32 teams that holds a 2-0 Finals lead goes on to win the title. But with Guiao and the E-Painters’ backs now against the wall, expect a strong fightback.