FINALS: Powerade Tigers 1 - 3 Talk N Text Tropang Texters
Despite having the same win-loss record, Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao believes his team is the underdog when it begins its best-of-three quarterfinals battle against Barangay Ginebra on Friday.

“They have everything,” Guiao told InterAKTV. “They have the experience, the crowd and even the referees. A borderline call could always work in their favor.”

“These simply make our team an underdog. While Ginebra has been in the playoffs many times, we as a team has just started over.”

Still, the fiery coach is looking forward to the series against the league’s crowd darlings.

“I always relish the role of an underdog,” he said. “It doesn’t only bring out the best in me, but it also brings out the best in anyone.”

Guiao said that playing — and winning — against Ginebra could lift up the franchise to new heights. The squad has never made it past the the quarterfinals of a PBA all-Filipino conference.

“I’ve been telling my team that the series versus Ginebra could be our biggest test, but could also be the breakout we’ve been looking for. This possible breakout will push us farther and could define our season.”

Guiao remains wary of the Ginebra backcourt corps, led by superstar guard Mark Caguioa.

“Mark can explode, no doubt about that. But if we can put pressure on their guards and we can establish our transition game, then we have better chances of winning.”

The Elasto Painters coach noted that his team actually stacks up well with the Gin Kings, which like his team does not have a dominant big man.

“We have players who can match up well with their guards.”

Rookie guard Paul Lee, who is coming off a leg injury, is expected to lead the Rain or Shine attack. Sharpshooter Jeff Chan leads the team in scoring, while Ronjay Buenafe, Ryan Arana, Gabe Norwood, and Jireh Ibanes are expected to make life difficult for Ginebra’s guards, led by Caguioa, Mike Cortez, and Rob Labagala, who have been carrying the load for the Gin Kings in their five-game winning streak.


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