For six straight conferences, Talk ‘N Text either had the best record or was tied for the best record at the end of the elimination round.
That streak came to an end in the ongoing Governors’ Cup, as the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters took pole position at the end of the elims to post their best preliminary finish in franchise history. Fittingly, their last elimination round victory came against the Tropang Texters, against whom they felt they had something to prove.
“It’s really a satisfying win, to win against the best team in the league the last few years,” said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao.
“Talk N Text has nothing to prove. The burden of proof lies with us. We would like to show that we’re not just a pretender but contender. We want to prove that our time has come. This team is really for real.”
The win puts Rain or Shine in great position for the round-robin semifinals, where teams’ win-loss records will be carried over. The top team at the end of the semis would earn an outright ticket to the semifinals, which means the Elasto Painters would probably need to win just a couple of games to make its first championship appearance in their PBA tenure.
Guiao would have none of it, however. “I don’t want to dangle two wins before my players. We want to win as many games as we can, to toughen them up,” he said.
Deja vu for Guiao
His team’s current performance hearkens back to his first title run in the 1992 Third Conference at the helm of Swift. That tournament featured a format similar to the current PBA conference.
Led by the mercurial Tony Harris, the Mighty Meaties zoomed to the top of the standings at the end of the elimination round. Because elims records were carried over, Swift found itself in cruise control en route to the finals, which gave Guiao his first PBA title.
But the coach insists he hasn’t been thinking of the past.
“Hindi ko na maalala. Kapag more than two years ago kasi, kinakalimutan ko na,” he said with a smile.
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