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Guiao takes PBA referees to task

Paul Lee dribble the ball to victory after RoS defeated TnT 109-97 for a 2-1 advantage in the PBA finals, if you take a closer look at the mouth of Paul Lee he reportedly looses three tooth after an accidental hit by TnT Ivan Johnson in a fierce action of the PBA Finals. Photo by Tony PIonilla

Game Tomorrow (Smart Araneta Coliseum)
7 p.m. – Talk ’N Text vs Rain or Shine

Rain or Shine is a team that thrives on physical plays, but coach Yeng Guiao can’t help but be concerned when players step over the thin line that separates physical and being dirty.

ROS guard Paul Lee lost two teeth after getting an elbow from a driving Talk ‘N Text import Ivan Johnson midway through the third quarter of Game 3 of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

But what irked Guiao was the fact that Johnson escaped with only a regular offensive foul.

“If you have your top player falling down on the floor with an elbow to his face… then you call a regular foul. Buti ngipin lang ang nawala kay Paul, pano kung nabali yung ilong niya,” said Guiao. “The refs have been letting go of a lot of things.”

Despite what happened to its star guard, the Painters won Game 3, 109-97, to take a 2-1 lead.

Game 4 is set tomorrow at the same venue.

Guiao feels his team is not being treated fairly.

He said if it happened the other way around, Lee would have gotten a Flagrant Foul 1 before reviewing the video.

“They (referees) called it a regular foul (on Johnson), kahit isang flagrant foul walang tinawag (on TNT). Pero kapag kami na ang gumawa, flagrant na agad ang tawag, tapos saka nila ire-review,” said Guiao.

Talk ’N Text mentor Jong Uichico said that they were just trying to match the level of physicality of ROS.

“It’s championship time and we are playing Rain or Shine… so it’s going to be physical,” said Uichico. “If you back down in the physicality of the game, you’ll give an upper hand to the other team.”

However, since ROS is used to playing this type of game, Guiao’s team is showing better poise, something that can’t be said of the 6-foot-8 Johnson.

The former NBA player, who has anger management issue, had a heated altercation with ROS guard Ryan Arana near the parking lot of the coliseum before they were separated by cooler heads.

Johnson finished with 30 points and 14 rebounds, but Rain or Shine’s irritating defense – and the mocking he received from the ROS bench when he committed a turnover in the fourth period – was too much for TNT.

That sticky defense of ROS also held Talk ’N Text’s main man Jayson Castro to 20 points on 8-of-21 shooting from the field after scoring a career-high 44 points in a ROS win in Game 2 (116-108) in Game 2 last Friday.

“We played fantastic defense. It was a team effort on defense,” said Guiao.

“TNT is an explosive team, but we’re determined to come into this game to make harder for them to score. This victory was brought about elevating our play in terms of playing defense,” added Guiao.

On offense, Rain or Shine continued to shoot better from the field for the third straight game, converting 33-of-79 (42%) from the field including 13-of-41 (32%) from three-point range.

“We did not see any adjustment in their defense. I did not notice any adjustment (defensively). We just do what worked for us. We’re looking at some adjustments. We anticipated that they might do. We just keep that in the warehouse (plays to counter TNT’s defense),” said Guiao.