The last time Bo Perasol coached a Game Seven, his team Air21 lost to the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings after posting a 3-2 lead in the 2007-08 Fiesta Conference finals.
Yeng Guiao last figured in a Game Seven in the 2007-08 Philippine Cup semifinals, as his Red Bull squad lost to Purefoods.
Chot Reyes and Ato Agustin battled in Game Seven of the Governors’ Cup this past season, and Wednesday’s encounter comes barely five months after the last one.
The pair of do-or-die matches with championship berths at stake will be the most interesting in years.
“I can’t remember the last time I coached a Game Seven, I don’t have a data bank of such,” said Guiao. “But it’s going to be interesting and the series will be decided by a team that plays with more energy and a team who can sustain the pressure.”
Guiao and the rest of the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters forced a rubber match following a 112-98 triumph over the Powerade Tigers last Sunday.
The fiery mentor is hoping to play in his first all-Filipino finals since the 2005-06 Philippine Cup, where his Red Bull Energy Drink squad lost to the Purefoods Chunkee Giants in six games.
Guiao, who is hoping to win his first all-Filipino title, hopes to lead the Elasto Painters to their first finals stint in franchise history.
Standing in their way are the Tigers, who are gunning for history by becoming only the first eighth-seeded team to play in the finals. But Perasol knows he would need contributions from everyone on his team, and not just his star trio of Gary David, Marcio Lassiter, and JVee Casio.
“If we want to become the team trying to get a shot at history, we shouldn’t play the same way like we did in Game Six,” said Perasol after his team’s loss.
“I’m sorry to say, there are a lot of mediocre players on our team [in Game Six]. For us to win, we need the help of the whole team, not just Gary, Marcio, or JVee (Casio). We need contributions from Sean Anthony, Celino Cruz, Doug Kramer and Josh Valandingham and we didn’t get the help from them.”
Reyes, whose team is seeking payback against Agustin’s Petron side for spoiling the Tropang Texters’ Grand Slam bid last season, thinks the series has gone beyond winning and losing, and would define his relationship with players.
“I believe conflict and friction is put in our lives to allow us to grow and to evolve,” he said. “This is what Game Seven represents for me – to see how much I and my team have grown.”
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