PBA 2024: San Miguel will have challenges regardless of the weather

May 19, 2024

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MANILA, Philippines – In the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals, Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao initially downplayed the team’s customers by surprising the formidable San Miguel Beer.

Although the best-of-seven series will begin at Mall of Asia Arena on Friday, Guiao as well as the Elasto Painters won’t give it all away.

“We will attempt to make things challenging for them, even though we don’t have somebody capable of going up contrary to them,” Guiao declared prior to the 4:30 p.m. start of the series. “We win if we succeed. We must make sure that, even in defeat, we accept our loss with dignity.

The seven-game series between longtime rivals Barangay Ginebra and Meralco begins at 7:30 p.m. final.

The San Miguel team, which nearly swept the elimination rounds before edging out a tenacious Terrafirma team in the quarterfinals, will be a formidable opponent for Rain or Shine.

There’s an intriguing undercurrent to the series when the heavyweight of the league squares off against the final independent team to win a PBA championship—a squad that wants to repeat the feat after eight years.

Rain or Shine should at least have an advantage thanks to that plot.

The goal is for San Miguel to experience maximum pressure, according to Guiao. We are not under any pressure. We believe that we have already triumphed mentally. We consider ourselves to be champions already.

Despite having an 0 to 4 (win-loss) start, which includes a loss to San Miguel, Rain or Shine advanced to the semifinals for the first time since the 2019 Commissioner’s Cup. The Elasto Painters then overcame a Game 1 loss and defeated TNT in a best-of-three quarterfinal series. This was followed by a six-game winning streak.

Gian Mamuyac summed up the ways that various players are contributing tremendously for Rain or Shine at a critical juncture with a conference-high 25 points. In the second game, Jhonard Clarito saved the day for the Elasto Painters.

“Going for the long haul.” Given that Guiao returned to Rain or Shine in 2022, after leading the team to two titles, the presence of Mamuyac, Clarito, and the other youthful core members appears to be a sign that the squad’s gradual progress will finally pay off.

“Making it to the semifinals indicates that you overcome a formidable team,” Guiao stated. And that in and of itself is a source of accomplishment and pride for us as a stand-alone team.

Coach Yeng Guiao has promised to adopt an uncompromising stance as his team prepares for the ultimate test against the formidable San Miguel squad in a daring and rebellious statement. With a face full of steel, Guiao said, “We’re going to take our time. We must grow if we want to bring in talent that could completely transform the squad. And this is how talent is developed—by taking them deep into the postseason, giving them experience, and letting them handle the pressure of handling the circumstance.”

His remarks weighed heavily on the wind, akin to a gauntlet hurled at the defending champs, challenging them to underestimate the will of his youthful, hungry team. This matchup, in Guiao’s opinion, is much more than just another basketball match; it’s a trial by fire where his players’ resilience and tenacity will be put to the test.

With a mixture of respect and trepidation, an experienced analyst said, “There is no better way for Guiao to accomplish that than to take on June Mar Fajardo, CJ Perez, and the incredibly skilled San Miguel team, which is looking to get closer to securing the Philippine Cup trophy and completing a season double.”

With a resolute intensity, Guiao declared, “He declared that this would be a test of his toughness. We’ll be aware of our true nature. We’ll be able to tell if you’re a major player or someone who withers away in difficult circumstances. Even though they’re still young, these men are skilled fighters.” Guiao’s candor has become his trademark.

The coach’s remarks echoed across the room, a bold war cry that seemed to call forth the very spirit of competition itself. The air crackled with expectancy. That was when it became evident that this was more than simply a game—rather, it was a conflict between opposing ideas and wills that would ultimately decide how their lives would unfold.

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