SAN Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone warned his wards not to be complacent while Rain or Shine mentor Yeng Guiao vowed a strong comeback for his team in Game 5 of the best-of-seven titular series of the 39th Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup today at the Araneta Coliseum.
Cone, who is aiming for the Coffee Mixers’ 11th crown and second straight, reminded his team that a 3-1 lead is not an absolute guarantee that they will win the championship. He cited an experience in the 2006 Philippine Cup semifinals wherein Alaska despite a wide lead lost to Purefoods then led by James Yap.
“You’ve got to keep pushing. You’ve got to keep working against a team like this. Rain or Shine doesn’t change their game, whether they’re up or they’re down. Whether they’re up 3-1 in the series or down 1-3 in the series, I’m sure they will continue to play their game at a very, very high level,” said Cone.
Coach Yeng Guiao of the Elasto Painters, on the other hand, while remaining optimistic expressed disgust over several calls of the referees that led to their 93-90, defeat on Friday.
“There were at least two or three bailout calls on us. One was on Jeff [Chan] with time running down on the shot clock against [Joe] Devance. I thought it was good defense. Another one was the very late call on Beau Belga, I think it was on [Marc] Pingris. The last play we set up, [Mark] Barroca was clearly holding on to the jersey of JR Quinahan. We didn’t get any of those breaks. So I just felt that those calls cost us the game,” said Guiao.
Meanwhile, physician Raffy Sanchez said that Pingris would be able to play today. The 6’4 Pingris suffered a scratched right cornea after being accidentally poked by Rain or Shine’s JR Quinahan in the third quarter of Game 4.
“He’ll definitely play on Sunday. In fact, if he feels OK tomorrow, he can practice. If he’s still not OK by tomorrow, we will put a contact lens just to expedite the healing process. It’s nothing serious really. It’s just an abrasion. It’s too annoying, it’s too painful, but in 24 hours, he’ll be fine,” said Sanchez.