MANILA, Philippines – When Rain or Shine and Terrafirma encounter on Sunday at 4:30 p.m., it will be clear whether Rain or Shine will keep shining under coach Yeng Guiao or whether Terrafirma will finally get its act together and stop falling in the Smart Araneta Coliseum’s PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
Following a 93-71 victory over Barangay Ginebra last Wednesday, which helped them recover from a 90-96 defeat to Guiao’s previous team of six years, NLEX, the Elasto Painters are still on a high.
Guiao expects that his team will be inspired to keep improving by the thrilling victory over the enduring crowd favorites and reach their ultimate goal of going beyond the eliminations.
After the Ginebra game, Guiao observed, “The upside (of this team) is pretty good. “This win gives us the confidence to do that and gives us the desire to work harder in practice and develop ourselves,” said the team after the victory. “We think we can go deep into the playoffs.”
The seven-time PBA champion coach, who led Rain or Shine to two titles during his stay there from 2011 to 2016 before going to NLEX, was undoubtedly taken aback by how quickly the E-Painters’ youthful roster adapted to him.
Guiao remarked, “This is a really good group of guys, especially the young kids. The seasoned players Beau (Belga), Jewel (Ponferrada), and Gabe Norwood are already familiar with my coaching style, the way I want this club to play, look, and my philosophy.”
He continues to say, “However, these young men… They are taking it in like sponges. They appear to be making an effort to take in what we are attempting to teach them. I anticipated it would take a while… The development has been somewhat mabilis.”
(I anticipated it would take a while… The development has been somewhat fast)
Terrafirma’s head coach, Johnedel Cardel, could not make the same claims about his team, which has an 18-game losing run going back to last season and dropped its first two conference games.
Cardel’s Dyip’s incapacity to function as a cohesive team is the main offender.
Cardel and management haven’t been lacking in the motivational department, though. He recalled that the speaker had said, “Kapag nag kanya-kanya tayo walang mangyayari,” to the speaker.
Cardel continued, “Pinapaalala din namin sa kanila na kami hindi malakas na team at lalong humihina kapag kami hindi magtutulong-tulong so para manalo we should play as a team at hindi ‘yung individual numbers ang iniintindi.
“Sana makini sila, hindi pa huli lahat,”
(We also remind them that we are not a strong team and become weaker when we don’t help each other so to win we should play as a team and not the individual numbers that are understood. I hope they pay attention, it’s not too late.)
Lester Prosper, a balik-import for Terrafirma, has been outstanding as always, amassing 42 points and 22 rebounds in his first two games.
Sadly, however, there hasn’t been much local support, as shown by the Dyip losing severely to Converge and Magnolia.