Guiao considers ROS' quarterfinal route "blessing in disguise"

By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY--Despite his team barely missing out on an outright semifinal berth, Coach Yeng Guiao felt that the longer playoff route made Rain Or Shine more ready for the PBA Philippine Cup Final Four round.

"I think we had to go through the long route to get ourselves ready. I think we're better prepared now. If we had gone the short route... we may not be as ready as right now. It's a blessing in disguise that we had to do it the hard way, but this is just going to toughen us up come the semis," Guiao said after the Elasto Painters' knockout quarterfinal win against the Talk 'n Text Tropang Texters at the Mall of Asia Arena on Monday night.

ROS was at the thick of things in the race for one of the two outright semifinal seats, but a loss to NLEX derailed its chances, giving Alaska and eventual Final Four opponent San Miguel the two early Christmas gifts.

The Elasto Painters would need to pounce a gritty Blackwater Elite squad in the first round before downing the Tropang Texters in the quarterfinals.

"We were not prepared the first time. You can't get to the semifinals if you're not ready," Guiao said on what affected the E-Painters during the crucial match with the Road Warriors.

Guiao also said that the team will take a rest on Tuesday and Friday, which is New Year's Day, but he will likely summon his players back on Jan. 2 to get back in shape for the series opener with SMB on Jan. 5.

"I don't think we can afford any more than [the said rest days]. On January 1, they can spend time with the family. And then go back to work again," the coach said about the E-Painters' New Year's Day plans.

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