BARANGAY Ginebra may have gotten a new lease on life, but coach Siot Tanquingcen knows a lot more perseverance is needed from his team if it wants to go deeper in the PBA Philippine Cup playoffs.
“I don’t expect it getting any easier,” said Tanquingcen, referring to his Kings’ deciding game with Rain or Shine Sunday in their best-of-three quarterfinals duel at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The winner of the match takes on San Mig Coffee in a best-of-seven semifinals duel starting Wdnesday.
From the look of things, Sunday’s game could go either way.
The rubber match was forced after Ginebra bounced back from a lopsided 82-65 loss in the series opener with a 79-77 win last Friday.
“I’m really thankful for this win,” stated Tanquingcen after Friday’s escape. “Pero in a way back to zero lang. It will all come down to Sunday. Rain or Shine is a very tough team, very resilient. It will be a very interesting game on Sunday.”
What prompted Tanquingcen to say that is the fact that despite some yeoman’s efforts from the likes of Chris Ellis, Mark Caguioa, LA Tenorio and Rudy Hatfield the Elasto Painters still had chances to steal Game Two.
Coach Yeng Guiao’s charges made just 26 of 77 field attempts, including only nine of 33 three-point attempts, and were badly outrebounded, 59-47.
Still, things could have been drastically different had Beau Belga not compounded a three-point game by committing an offensive foul on Rico Maierhofer in the last 2:11 of the game, or had Jeff Chan’s triple try inside the last 30 seconds not rattled out.
Those facts make Guiao upbeat.
“I have the utmost confidence in my team. These guys are tough and they know how to handle setbacks. We’re still very positive about our chances,” said Guiao.
In the meantime, Rain or Shine worked on some little more refinements in a couple of departments.
“We need to fix some things, like our rebounding and our zone offense, but we will be okay on Sunday,” said Guiao.
That is exactly what Tanquingcen is bracing his team for.
“Etong next game, kailangan ang concentration nandoon,” he said. “Patay kung patay ang attitude, pero ang focus hindi nawawala.” (NC)