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RoS still on track

Games Tomorrow
(Cuneta Astrodome)
4:15 p.m. – Globalport vs Meralco
7 p.m. – NLEX vs San Miguel

It took about 30 minutes for Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao to complete his post-game talk to his players following a loss to Talk ’N Text in the Smart Bro PBA Philippine Cup last Sunday.

Injured guard Paul Lee was the first to emerge from the team’s dugout at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“It’s all ok, he just talked to us,” said Lee as he responded to queries of reporters when asked if Guiao’s post-game talk was the usual ‘profanity-laced’ he is known for as a basketball coach.

Rain or Shine suffered an 85-95 defeat to TNT that denied the Elasto Painters a chance of regaining a share of the lead at 7-1 with defending champion San Miguel Beer and Alaska, as they fell to solo second with a 6-2 card.

The setback also snapped another three-game win streak for RoS, which opened with a 3-0 record before coming up short against Globalport (111-113) last Nov. 13 at the Big Dome.

Looking at the way RoS won and lost games, Guiao – in jest – said that keeping that pattern is now their target.

“We win three, we lose one, we win three, and we lose one. So we’re hoping we win another three. If we’re able to do that, we have a pretty good chance of making it the semis,” said Guiao.

Turning serious, however, Guiao understands that with three games to play the Painters still have a good shot at earning one of two outright semifinal berths in the playoff stage.

And that begins with a match up against the Calvin Abueva-led Aces.

“Our biggest game among the three games left would be Alaska,” said Guiao referring to that game set Friday at the Araneta Coliseum, before they face Meralco (Dec. 16) and NLEX (Dec. 19) for their last two assignments.

“If we can beat Alaska, we can figure in this (automatic) semis race prominently. After that we have to survive Meralco and NLEX.”

“Our chances are still good, we learned a lot of lessons from this game (versus TNT) and we’ll prepare for the Friday’s game against Alaska, because right now that’s going to be our biggest game this conference, pinaka-importante,” added Guiao.

The veteran mentor pointed on a couple of things that led to a loss to TNT, which he said they cannot afford to repeat when they face the surging Alaska, a team that won its last four games.

First is to keep their poise, second is for a better flow on offense and, this – and probably the most crucial – is to limit their turnovers, something they failed to do as the Painters committed 21 in their game against the Tropang Texters.

TNT only translated 20 points off turnovers, but RoS was held to just 11 assists – way to low from its conference average of about 24 per game – and because of that the flow of the offense suffered with a miserable shooting of 30-of-80 (38%), including 4-of-26 (15%) from three-point range.

Rain or Shine missed its first 21 attempts from the rainbow area, and it was only in the fourth quarter – with TNT already cruising to a win – when the Painters knocked in their next four triples before Jeff Chan missed one from the left corner in the final stretch of the game.