Despite a rich winning tradition in amateur basketball, Rain or Shine team owners Raymond Yu and Terry Que had to wait their turn when it came to the PBA.
“Ang projection kasi namin, at least five years after we entered the PBA, nasa finals na kami,” Yu told InterAKTV shortly after the squad booked its first finals seat in the big league with a 92-82 victory over the powerhouse B-MEG Llamados.
“But it’s all worth it.”
The team waited six years to finally reach the championship round, an eternity for a franchise that had been so used to winning. The company won six titles as Welcoat in the Philippine Basketball League, the last in 2005 with a squad led by Jay Washington.
Success didn’t come as easy in the pros. Against bigger corporate giants with limitless resources, the team often found itself near the bottom of the standings, before the entry of fiery coach Yeng Guiao last season transformed the squad into serious contenders.
“Last All-Filipino, we tried to get into the finals, but we lost in Game 7 of our semis against Powerade,” said Yu. “I think that motivated the players to give it their all today. Mahirap na umabot sa knockout game on Friday.”
Guiao described the team as a David having to constantly fight against Goliaths of the league.
“Kaya naman pala kahit maliit na team lang,” said Guiao.
Rain or Shine’s first PBA finals appearance was also a fitting way to reward Que, who is celebrating his 62nd birthday on Wednsesday.
“Para ito sa best friend ko na si Terry Que,” said Yu. “I told him before the game na 100% mananalo tayo dahil birthday mo.”
Even though it was his birthday, Que almost couldn’t take the suspense of the game.
“Ayaw ko na nga manood nu’ng nakahabol, pero masaya naman na nakuha natin yung panalo,” he said.
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