By WAYLON GALVEZ
As San Mig Coffee was drooling over the prospects of pulling the plug on Rain or Shine’s title bid in Game Five, Guiao came out with a battlecry that proved pivotal in helping them live to fight another day in the 2014 PLDT myDSL PBA Philippine Cup.
“I told them not to show any signs that they’re no longer going to put up a fight, that they’re giving up,” said Guiao after they ran away with an 81-74 victory Sunday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Guiao is reminding his players to make the Mixers bleed for their points as Rain or Shine attempts to drag the race-to-four affair to a seventh game.
“Even in their body language, even in the way they carry themselves. Never show me that you are going to give up anything in this series, even if we’re down 1-3. Pag pinakita nila sa akin ‘yun, sabi ko, ‘tatapusin ko ‘yung career nila dito (in the PBA),” said Guiao, who was of course kidding although it was evident he wants the Painters not to lower their guards.
“Kahit na siguro discourage sila, kahit na masama pakiramdam nila, they just need to keep that to themselves. They will not or they can’t show it to the rest of the team even in their body language,” said Guiao.
“That’s part of staying positive in this series,” added Guiao as they aim for another victory in Game 6 tomorrow also at the Big Dome.
Rain or Shine is looking to be the fourth team to win a seven-game series after falling behind 1-3, and just the second team in PBA Finals history to win it all since Ginebra first did the trick in 1991 First Conference against Shell.
Jeff Chan best typified Rain or Shine’s resolve in the previous game as he exploded for 24 points, connecting 7-of-16 shot from the field and 7-of-8 from the free throw line while adding two rebounds and four assists in 27 minutes of action.
The 6-foot-2 Chan almost singlehandedly carried the Painters in the fourth period when he scored 14 points, punctuated by a fadaway jumper over PJ Simon at the left corner with the shot clock about to expire for a 79-72 advantage with 48.3 seconds remaining in the game.
“Attack mode lang, kasi ayaw ko i-give up yung game. Gusto ko pa mag-laro,” the sweet-shooting Chan said. “Saka ang goal namin umabot ng Game 7. Hopefully din, sa Game 6, para ‘di ganun kahirap, magka-sabay na gumanda ang laro namin ni Paul (Lee), para mas maganda kalalabasan.”
The 6-foot Lee, Rain or Shine’s top playmaker who averaged 25.5 points in the series’ last two games, struggled in Game 5 as he scored just eight points on 3-of-9 shooting but his fallaway jumper off the taller 6-foot-7 Joe Devance gave the Painters a 74-69 lead with three minutes to go.