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Painters will be ‘better’ team after duel with Beermen


PBA: Painters will be 'better' team after duel with Beermen

June Mar Fajardo (with ball) heaves a(with ball) heaves a one-hander for theone-hander for the Beermen. —PBA IMAGES

Coach Yeng Guiao appears resigned over the impossible situation Rain or Shine now faces in the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals.

“Of course we’re disappointed,” Guiao said as the Elasto Painters try to prevent the powerhouse San Miguel Beermen from marching to the Finals on Friday at Mall of Asia Arena via a four-game sweep of their best-of-seven series.

“But you know, the upside of the team is high. And for sure, we will get better as a team after this, whether we get one win or whether we get swept. We will be a better team next conference,” Guiao added.

San Miguel’s bid to take out the broom is at 7:30 p.m. after Meralco goes for a commanding 3-1 lead over Barangay Ginebra in the other Game 4 slated at 4:30 p.m.

Rain or Shine has kept it close with San Miguel for most of the previous three games, only for at least one win to elude the underdog squad which before the series vowed to throw everything despite the huge odds.Game 3 two nights ago in Dasmariñas, Cavite, saw Rain or Shine staying with San Miguel until the fourth quarter, with its defense making life hard for June Mar Fajardo.

But timely shots, most of which coming from Don Trollano, and a few from Terrence Romeo, allowed San Miguel to pull away as Rain or Shine couldn’t hit its own attempts to compound its woes.

“We can’t think of anything but to get one game and try not to be swept,” said Guiao. “This was our best opportunity to beat San Miguel in order to get back in the race.

“But to go down 0-3, it’s almost impossible to get back. If [you’re down 1-2], your odds are much better.”

Bolts eye big lead

The Painters, in their perspective, came to this series already satisfied with having made it this far, especially with its label as one of the middle-of-the-pack teams and opening the all-Filipino tournament with four consecutive defeats.

Meanwhile, Meralco will look to counter what it had seen from Ginebra despite a near-dominant performance in Dasmariñas that resulted in an 87-80 triumph and the hold of the driver’s seat in their own semifinal pairing.

The Bolts have tasted leads in all three games, with their two wins marked by leads of 17 points each time. But they are bracing for whatever homework coach Tim Cone and the Gin Kings have done during the quick turnaround.

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“We can’t have letdowns and we know they are capable, but we are capable, too,” Meralco’s Luigi Trillo said. “So we need to focus and continue to do it, not one time, but multiple times.”

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