Even if Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao tried his best to cover up the pain of losing on his re-election bid for a Congressional seat in this year’s national elections, the Elasto Painters are determined to give him something to cheer about—the 2016 PBA Commissioner’s Cup crown.
Veteran Rain or Shine center Beau Belga admitted he and the rest of his teammates are doubly eager to finish off the Alaska Aces on Friday night when they go for the jugular in their best-of-seven titular showdown at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Elasto Painters took control in the middle quarters then made enough effort in the stretch to hold off the gritty Aces 112-108 on Wednesday night, pushing them another step closer towards a second pro league title in franchise history.
“Kung matatalo sa series na ‘to, mas masakit para sa kanya. Kumbaga doble bukol sa kanya. Kaunting tiyaga na lang. Isang panalo na lang. As much as possible kung kaya ng Friday, bakit hindi?” said the 6-foot-6 Belga, one of the six holdovers on the Painters’ breakthrough title conquest in the 2012 PBA Governors Cup.
“Konting effort na lang. Tsaka na magpahinga. Mahaba-haba naman ang magiging pahinga. Makaka-recover naman kami kung ano man ang masakit sa amin. Sa Friday, sacrifice na lang,” he added.
Although they are enjoying a commanding series lead, Belga admitted they have no intention on giving the Aces any chance to survive, knowing they could suffer the same fate that their rivals endured against San Miguel Beer in the Philippine Cup finals.
“Hindi ko na iniisip ‘yun. Kasi ayaw ko mangyari sa akin. Ayaw ko masama sa history. Basta sa sarili ko, Game 4, gusto ko na tapusin,” vowed the former Philippine Christian U standout.
“Ibibigay ko na lahat. Wala namang iba. Kapag nanalo ng Friday, pahinga na simula Sabado hanggang kung kailan sasabihin na bumalik ng practice. Ang nasa isip ko Friday na lang. Wala ng ibang laro.”
In order to realize their cherished dream, Belga added the Painters need to heed the call of fellow veteran JR Quiñahan, who expressed his dismay over their sluggish windup that saw the Aces trim what once a hefty 27-point lead to just a single digit in the crunch.
“Medyo kinabahan kami kasi dumikit pa. Next game, ‘yun nga sinasabi ni JR kanina, sana hindi na mangyari ‘yung nangyari ng last three minutes. Hopefully sa Friday, maluwag na,” Belga said, adding he’s still tempering his celebration despite their third straight win over the Aces.
“‘Yung panalo na lang, konting celebration lang for tonight. Back to practice na bukas. Pansamantalang saya lang. Kumbaga ‘yung full na saya kapag nag champion na. ‘Yun yung talagang totally na magsasaya ka,” he shared. – By Jerome Lagunzad
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