MANILA, Philippines-Coach Yeng Guiao does not expect to see lightning strike twice for Rain or Shine as it faces a Barangay Ginebra squad that will not only make its PBA Governors’ Cup debut, but possibly have some little hangover left from its successful title run three weeks ago.
“That’s what happened last conference,” Guiao said. “But it’s hard to do that twice in a row.”
Reeling to a 0-3 record, Guiao can’t be blamed for feeling a bit defeatist since the Gin Kings, who defeated the guest team Bay Area Dragons to win the Commissioner’s Cup crown last January 15, are capable of putting up a decent performance and come away with a win.
But the Elasto Painters can find some inspiration from Sept. 28, 2022 when they denied the Gin Kings a winning start in the midseason conference with a convincing 93-71 victory at Mall of Asia Arena.
Guiao, however, feels that Rain or Shine, which absorbed losses to teams currently with winning records in Meralco, TNT and Converge, is in for a tough task of pulling off a repeat in Sunday’s match with Ginebra at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
He sees the hard-fought victory over Bay Area as a huge benefit for Ginebra, which despite the long rest has somewhat gained a huge boost in confidence and status as perhaps the team to beat in the season-ending tournament.
“Ginebra still has a big edge, especially with the way we’re playing,” Guiao said. “It’s going to be a tough matchup. First, we have to lift our morale because it’s hard coming back from a 0-3, and second, find a way to stop Ginebra.
“The way they’re playing, the way [Justin] Brownlee’s playing, the way players like Scottie [Thompson] and [Jamie] Malonzo are playing, they become bigger and deeper with better chemistry because that’s the way you get from playing a seven-game series. So Sunday’s game is gonna be very tough,” he added.
So aside from trying its best to get a win, Guiao is also hoping for one thing to happen.
“Milagro siguro (We probably need a miracle),” he said. “Pero nangyayari naman ang milagro (But miracles do happen).”
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