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Rain or Shine mentor Yeng Guiao had a long talk with his players following the Elasto Painters’ setback in a knockout game for the last quarterfinal berth in the PBA Governors’ Cup.
Contrary, however, to the ‘tongue-lashing’ post game speech the veteran coach is noted for, Guiao instead gave his players words of encouragement which he hopes the team can carry next season.
“One thing I reminded the players is we have to carry the lessons of this season,” Guiao said as he emerged from the locker room following his team’s 105-94 defeat to newcomer Phoenix Fuel in their playoff last Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“We have to feel the pain and hurt; kapag nakakalimutan mo kasi yung hapdi ng pagkatalo, parang okay lang matalo eh.
So sabi ko sa kanila na wag niyo kakalimutan na masakit ang matalo.”
“And we don’t want to be in the same situation in the future, so we have to derive motivation from that experience,” added Guiao as his team finished the conference with a 5-6 record.
The setback was significant to the franchise as it ended its semifinal streak of nine straight appearances which began during the 2013 Governors’ Cup.
In those nine semifinal stints, the Painters made the finals four times, with the last championship appearance resulting in the team of Raymond Yu and Terry Que winning the Commissioner’s Cup against Alaska and giving the franchise its second overall crown in the PBA.
The team won the title with its fourth import in Pierre Henderson-Niles, and although he was saying it in jest that he’s hoping the same formula would result in them lifting another trophy after ROS brought in Josh Dollard to be their fourth reinforcement, Guiao had different feelings this time.
“We’re not able to bring in the right import,” said Guiao as the team started with Dior Lowhorn, who was replaced by Jason Forte after their supposed second option Greg Smith failed to make the required 6-foot-5 height limit; they then settled for Josh Dollard.
While he credited the efforts of Dollard, who played for three games, including in ROS’ 108-90 win over Star to force a playoff with Phoenix Fuel, Guiao said that a previous knee injury has slowed down the import.
Although the streak is over for them, Guiao said it is something the team can look forward to and use as motivation to start a new chapter in their quest for a first Philippine Cup title.
“We are hoping that with those experiences and lessons, we’ll be able to form a better all-Filipino team come November. We will look forward to the future and leave this behind,” he said.