Despite enjoying a 2-0 lead over Alaska in the best-of-seven-finals of the Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 Commissioner’s Cup, Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao admonished his wards not to be complacent.
“If you remember last conference, San Miguel Beer was able to overcome a 3-0 lead by Alaska to win the title. So what if it is 2-0? It could happen to us. We must remain consistent in this series,” Guiao told The Manila Times on Monday.
Guiao said that Game 2 proved to be tougher than Game 1 forcing them to commit 19 turnovers compared to Alaska’s 14. The Elasto Painters and the Aces both had 13 turnovers in Game 1.
“Figuratively and literally, we are just lucky to survive Game 2. That game belongs to us.
Nobody thought that Paul Lee will be there without a single defender when Beau Belga missed his three-pointer,” said Guiao referring to Lee’s game-winning jumper that resulted in Rain or Shine’s 105-103 win in Game 2. The Elasto Painters won Game 1, 105-97.
Guiao said that he hasn’t seen the best of Calvin Abueva yet who is the leading the Best Player of the Conference race.
“Calvin [Abueva] hasn’t played his usual game,” added Guiao. “We’ve already seen Robert Dozier and RJ Jazul played their best game in this series, but we haven’t seen him yet. If Calvin plays well, it gives his team more chances of winning.”
Besides Lee and Beau Belga, Rain or Shine’s import Pierre Henderson-Niles provided the crucial defense during the semifinals and the first two games of the championship series.
Jericho Cruz, rookie Maverick Ahanmisi, Jireh Ibañez, Chris Tiu, Raymond Almazan, JR Quinahan and Jewel Ponferada are also providing the team the necessary firepower.
“Game two is a lot tougher this is what we expected but the good thing is we have a 2-0 lead we have a two-game cushion but it’s not safe against Alaska. Paul [Lee] is back to his old form, he’s just back to his leadership role in the team—this is going to be an exciting series. It’s getting harder to win as the series progresses,” said Guiao.
Game 3 was scheduled on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Araneta Coliseum.