Coming off a 12-day break, Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao’s worst fear happened on Wednesday following the Elasto Painers’ 109-102 loss to the Meralco Bolts.
Guiao was just three days removed from steering the North to a 154-151 win over the South in the PBA All Star Weekend.
But when the PBA Governors Cup resumed Wednesday, his Rain or Shine squad just couldn’t find its rhythm against a revved up Meralco five.
“My worst fear was that the long break was going to affect us, and it did. We were just out of timing, had low energy, and we couldn’t get our defense going,” said Guaio, whose team slipped to an even 2-2 card after the loss to Meralco.
The Bolts came off sizzling right from the get-go with its 16-0 blitz, a bad omen for the Elasto Painters, whose last game was a 98-92 win over the Blackwater Elite on July 30.
Paul Lee, Gabe Norwood, JR Quinahan, Jericho Cruz and Maverick Ahaminsi all made their All Star appearances recently, but they just couldn’t get their acts together against a red-hot Bolts.
“There was no semblance of defense on our side, so we have to take responsibility for that and we have to fix that problem in the next two days,” Guiao pointed out.
Despite continuous attempts to trim the lead that ballooned to 26 points in the third quarter, the Elasto Painters just couldn’t find a way to match the Bolts’ energy, who rode on the board shoulder of hulking import Allen Durham.
Durham, wearing a protective mask, feasted over the defense of Raymond Almazan and JR Quinahan to finish with 32 points and 12 reboybds.
“If we could have lessened yung attempts nung kabila and nadagdagan kami ng konti, baka nagkaroon ng effect sa laro,” said the multi-titled PBA coach.
Guiao, though, don’t want to put the blame to their import Dior Lowhorn, who topscored for Rain or Shine with 25.
“It’s not his (Lowhorn) fault that the ball did not get to him. The locals couldn’t get him the ball. We have to give credit to the defense,” he added.
Bt even with a 2-2 record in the Governors’ Cup, Guiao remains confident they can hit the ground running as they move forward.
“Once we get our bearings back, we can get going and still find our way to the semifinals.” – Jason Mercene
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