After dropping Game 3, 114-108 to San Miguel Monday night and yielding a 2-1 series deficit, Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao is once again on the brink of elimination.
But the experienced mentor, who has constantly shown how to rise from adversity, is looking to solve the problems come Game 4 with the hope of extending the semi-final series to a rubber match.
Guiao pointed out two familiar problems that were once again the major causes of the Elasto Painters’ defeat. First was defending the three-point line.
“Well, it’s not over. It is still about the three-point shooting. I thought that after one torrid night of shooting, at least for today the percentages would drop. But they got higher. We just can’t hope that the outside shooting is going to go down unless we try to find a way to stop it. Kailangan may gawin kami. Hindi pwedeng dadasalan mo lang,” Guiao quipped of the Beermen’s hot sniping from beyond the arc.
San Miguel shot 18-for-27 from three-point range, with Alex Cabagnot, Arizona Reid, and Marcio Lassiter combining for 16.
In contrast, Rain or Shine was not bad either, nailing 14-for-33 but against the zone which San Miguel once again implemented throughout the game, the Elasto Painters were not able to get uncontested shots.
The second problem that needs to be solved for Guiao is defense in the interior. After being dominated in the first two affairs, the Beermen kept it close in rebounding (37-35) and points in the paint (36-34).
It did not help that Guiao’s bigs were hounded by foul trouble in Game 3, as it forced him to go extra small with three wing guys, a guard, and a center which was Wendell McKines.
“The next thing is we were forced to play small because of the foul situation of our bigs,” he shared. “The early fouls on Raymond [Almazan] and JR [Quiñahan] forced us to take Wendell [McKines] out on AZ [Reid] and to June Mar [Fajardo]. He [Reid] was just comfortable against Gabe [Norwood] or Jireh (Ibañes).”
Reid fired 37 points, including 7-for-10 from downtown and 15-for-26 overall. In the fourth period, Reid posted up his smaller and lighter defenders as he wounded up with 11 in the quarter.
For Guiao, these are the points the team needs to work on in order to live for another day. The mentor remains confident and with the expected return of Beau Belga, Rain or Shine may have a better time with matching up.
“Those need to be addressed. We need to get back to our regular match-ups, with Beau getting to play and us preserving our bigs. They just have so many offensive weapons and if we mess up on the match ups, they can beat us on sheer talent.”
Photo from PBA Images