by Waylon Galvez
With still seven minutes to play in the fourth quarter of Rain or Shine’s game against the Alaska Aces Wednesday, Elasto Painters coach Yeng Guiao kept glancing up the scoreboard.
“I was doing my mathematics,” Guiao said yesterday. “I kept adding, kept subtracting… I thought we were just ahead by 20-plus points, and that I was wrong with my computation. But I realized I was correct, that we are up by 40-plus.”
Rain or Shine went on to win by a whopping 51 points, 123-73, that came down as the biggest winning margin in the past 28 years and fourth in the league all-time.
The last ball club to win a game by 50-plus points was the now defunct Shell (the same franchise purchased by Rain or Shine owners Terry Que and Raymond Yu) when it downed Tanduay Rhum, 154-100, back in 1986.
The record for most lopsided victory belongs to Utex when it won by 55 points over Great Taste Coffee, 154-99, in 1980. Utex also won by 54 points against Fiberlite, 170-116, in the league’s inaugural year in 1976.
To win by 51 points comes as mind-boggling even for the veteran Guiao, who has been coaching in the PBA since the early 90s.
“I was very surprised, especially against Alaska. We’re expecting a close game,” Guiao said. “Even if they have a new coach in Alex Compton, I think they’re a solid team. I also thought that Alex would fit them very well… personality-wise, Alex is likable and has leadership quality. They also have a strong lineup.”
The mild-mannered Compton, an American who played locally and speaks fluent Tagalog, took the blame but he’s optimistic that he and the team can learn from this disappointing loss.
“Ultimately this 51 points are on me, it’s my fault, I didn’t get the guys ready,” Compton said. “Actually it’s surprising because we really had a good practice. But it’s completely my fault. Everything is about learning.”
“I sincerely respect the guys (Alaska players) as people and as competitors, and today we didn’t compete. I need to figure out why that is. I don’t want to address symptoms, and I don’t want to address root causes,” added Compton.