An upbeat Yeng Guiao emerged from the locker room right after his Rain or Shine Elasto Painters lost to the Alaska Aces in Game 1 of their Philippine Cup semifinal series.
The team squandered a 17-point lead that cost the Elasto Painters the match, but the fiery mentor was a picture of calmness when he faced sportswriters after the game.
“Alam ko naman na series yan at binigyan nila kami ng pitong sunod na panalo. Sabi ko nga at some point mauubos yung swerte namin sa Alaska,” said Guiao.
It was Alaska’s first win over Rain or Shine since last season’s Game 3 of the Governors Cup. The Aces were seconds away from reaching the championship round until JVee Casio accidentally slipped and turned the ball over, allowing Gabe Norwood to come up with a game-tying lay up that sent the game to overtime in Game 4. The Elasto Painters won that game and took advantage of a depleted Aces squad in Game 5 to book their second finals appearance last season.
Guiao believes they cannot rely on good breaks anymore against the Aces, and it showed in Game 1.
“Pero mabuti na ngayon, may chance pa kaming maka-recover. Siguro it comes with the feeling that we will be OK. OK pa rin kami,” he added.
During the post game interview, Alaska Milk counterpart Alex Compton showed his admiration for Guiao’s mental toughness.
“I’m not surprised that he wasn’t calling timeouts even when we had 10 unanswered points. Maybe if we went 20-0, then he would call a timeout. But I’ve seen him do that a lot of times and let his players resolve it. It’s a testament to the mental toughness he has and the confidence he showed [in] his players,” said Compton.
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