Assistant coach Caloy Garcia will substitute for head coach Yeng Guiao when Rain or Shine battle Petron Blaze in Game 5 of the best-of-seven semifinals series of the 39th Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum today.
The PBA on Wednesday slapped Guiao with a one-game suspension and a P100,000 fine for pointing a “dirty finger” toward the commissioner and technical officials’ table during Game 4 on Monday.
Garcia has to decide whether to field point-guard Paul Lee and Jervy Cruz in the lone game set at 8 p.m.
The 6’1 Lee, a second overall pick by Rain or Shine in 2011, is nursing a sprained ankle while the 6’4 forward Cruz, a fifth overall pick in 2009, had a broken nose, an injury he suffered in Game 4.
The Elasto Painters won Game 1 (103-95) on January 27 and Game 2 (103-94) on January 29 but lost Game 3 (73-106) on February 1. They bounced back with an 88-83 win in Game 4 resulting to a commanding 3-1 lead in the series.
“The suspension was even more puzzling to me. It’s Game 5 of the semifinals and we have the chance now to close out the series versus Petron. We rested Paul Lee, and it’s really up to him now. How he feels tomorrow (today) to have a clearer view if he can play Game 5. Good thing about Paul is he’s no longer limping. But as for Jervy Cruz, he’s still waiting for his mask which he will wear in the Game 5,” Guiao said.
The winner between Rain or Shine and Petron in the semifinals will face the victor between San Mig Coffee and Ginebra Kings in the best-of-seven titular showdown. The Coffee Mixers and the Kings are both carrying 2-2 win-loss cards.