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PBA: Rain or Shine battles Texters

Yeng Guiao and Norman Black

Manila, Philippines – Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao is hoping that the long break bodes well for the Elasto Painters when they face defending champion Talk N’ Text today in the PLDT myDSL PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Elasto Painters and the Tropang Texters clash in a rematch of last year’s Philippine Cup finals that saw Guiao’s team losing the seven-game series via a sweep.

But the fiery mentor was quick to say that the harsh defeat is already in the past.

“We’re not thinking of that loss anymore, it’s been almost a year,” said Guiao.

The game is set at 8 p.m., right after the 5:45 p.m. encounter between San Mig Coffee and Barako Bull, with the Mixers aiming to snap a two-game skid while the Energy Cola will try to end a five-game losing run after a 2-0 start.

What is fresh in Guiao’s mind, though, is Rain or Shine’s 90-88 loss to Globalport last Dec. 8 when their play designed for Paul Lee to score a tying or winning basket broke down in the last play.

“We’re coming off a long break, and we’re just excited to play. The break gave us an opportunity to refresh, try some things on our system and make several adjustments. We’re also coming off a loss so we’re eager to bounce back,” said Guiao.

Like the Painters, the Texters are also nursing a painful loss that same day to Barangay Ginebra, when former TNT player Japeth Aguilar delivered a dagger triple in the final moments of the game for a 97-95 beating. The loss sent TNT down to 3-2.

Both results, according to Guiao, should make their duel more exciting as the two teams try to bounce back.

He said that TNT still has a potent unit with great individual talent loaded with veterans, but Guiao said Talk ‘N Text isn’t all just individual talent as its system is already proven under coach Norman Black.

“Although they have individual talent, you’re not just thinking of stopping their talented players but disrupt their system of dribble-drive, three-point shooting and penetration. So you try to find a solution to stop that,” said Guiao.

This week, Guiao said, is also a test for Rain or Shine as it will also take on league-leader Petron Blaze on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

“This week will measure our ability to contend. if we have what it takes to contend against the top teams. The long break helped us make the necessary adjustments, hopefully it’s enough when we face Talk ‘N Text,” said Guiao. (Waylon Galvez)