ROS Seeks First Finals Berth

Unlike last conference, Rain or Shine hopes to deliver the knockout punch right in Game 5 of their semis series as it seeks a back-to-back trip to the finals against San Mig Coffee in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

In the Governors' Cup last conference, the ROS Painters were also up 3-1 before the Mixers - playing under the banner of B-Meg then - rallied to force a winner-take-all.

Despite losing Games 5 and 6, the Painters went on to win the deciding Game 7 for their breakthrough championship.

ROS coach Yeng Guiao hopes they would not suffer the same ordeal this time.

"Now we have three chances to get to the finals, but our plan is to finish it off on Saturday," said Guiao moments after Rain or Shine won Game 4, 83-74, late Thursday.

The Elasto Painters face the Coffee Mixers at 6:30 p.m. with the boys of Guiao determined to finish off their fancied rivals, led by two-time MVP winner James Yap.

A win today will enable Rain or Shine to maintain its new status as one of the league's elite teams.

Guiao is well-aware of San Mig's capabilities but they are ready to face their rivals' best.

"If we become complacent, if we let our guards down... that can happen," said Guiao, referring to a possibility of another Game 7. "That's why, kung kaya naman namin tapusin, tatapusin na namin. I have full trust on my team to play defense."

In the 38-year history of the PBA, only three teams rebounded from a 1-3 deficit to win a best-of-seven series.

Ginebra did the trick first opposite Shell in 1991 Reinforced Conference, Purefoods versus Alaska in 2006 PH Cup semifinals, and Talk 'N Text against San Miguel Beer in the PH Cup Final Four last season.

Guiao expects the same effort from his players, particularly the way they played in Game 4 despite a miserable performance from Paul Lee, who scored a career playoff low two points on 1-of-7 shooting from the field in just 15 minutes of action.

Gabe Norwood led all Rain or Shine scorers with 14 points, Ryan Arana added 13 points, Jeff Chan contributed 12 markers, rookie Chris Tiu had eight of his 10 points in the fourth quarter, and Ronnie Matias scored eight as he provided the hustle on both ends when it mattered.


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