While the Elasto Painters led for most of the way, they allowed Blackwater to keep in step and get opportunities to turn the tides around. The Elite kept jabbing in the fourth period and Rain or Shine almost paid for it before being able to hack out a win.
Head coach Yeng Guiao pointed out the lack of defensive intensity from the third-seeded team which almost costed them the game.
Rain or Shine allowed 19 fastbreak points to Blackwater, and also committed 23 turnovers which turned into an extra 21 points from the hard-fighting Elite. Blackwater was also able to match Rain or Shine’s shooting percentage at 43 percent, as they were backstopped by Carlo Lastimosa’s 35-point production.
“Luckily, he did not have the support from his teammates,” Guiao added. Outside of Lastimosa, the Elite shot 38.9% from the field, majority of the misses coming from free looks. Moreover, the Elasto Painters gave up 21 free throws attempts to keep the game close.
Even Rain or Shine veteran Jeff Chan chimed in on the lack of defensive intensity of his team. “Yung sa defense namin hindi ako happy,” Chan said after the game. “Pag ganito nilalaro namin baka hindi na kami umabot sa next round.”
“Mahirap ang dadaanan namin kumbaga sa butas ng karayom kami dadaan. I hope sa next game lahat magbigay ng puso kasi pag matalo kami wala na, bakasyon na.”
Returning to the floor in 48 hours against the TNT Tropang Texters, Guiao is focusing on giving his squad reminders and and is hoping the Elasto Painters show a better performance the next time they hit the floor.
“If we play this way, we might not get into the next round. Maybe we can prepare harder and have some serious talk with the guys,” he said. “We want to get to the semis.”
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