Rain or Shine’s big bosses Raymund Yu and Terry Que got a congratulatory handshake from their Alaska counterpart Wilfred Steven Uytengsu with only 1:22 to go and the Elasto Painters, safely ahead, 104-88 on Wednesday night.
It was a sportsmanlike gesture that Yu and Que accepted wholeheartedly, especially since it came from someone, whom admittedly, they look up to in the pro league.
“Sila (Alaska management) idol namin eh. We look up to their franchise in terms of how to build a winning team,” Yu told FOX Sports, moments after Rain or Shine completed its Oppo-PBA Commissioner’s Cup championship conquest, 4-2.
The Elasto Painters drew big performances from vastly improved guard Jericho Cruz, Paul Lee, who was adjudged PBA Press Corps-Cignal Finals MVP, Raymond Almazan and JR Quinahan as they clobbered the Aces, 109-92 to close the series in a dominant fashion.
The soft-spoken Yu said Alaska earned their utmost respect, simply because of the way the Aces develop their players.
“They developed players, dahan-dahan nilang dine-develop kaya ganun din ang ginagawa namin. And that’s why yung draft picks ganun din ka-importante sa amin,” added Yu, whose team’s 1st PBA title happened during the 2012 Governors Cup.
For the just-ended series, the long-time sportsman-businessman said Rain or Shine’s second championship in the pro league had a lot to do with the team’s healthy roster in the Finals.
Almazan and Cruz, the team’s young turks, sustained injuries in the Philippine Cup semifinals, which prevented Rain or Shine from beating San Miguel in their Final Four series.
“I think we had an advantage because 100 percent healthy yung lineup namin,” he said. “Walang injured, while they (Aces) were handicapped kasi wala si (Vic) Manuel, (JV) Casio and Eric Menk so I guess it was meant to be,” said a beaming Yu.
Meantime, Que, when asked which between his team’s 2 league championships is sweeter, he simply said both were significant for them.
“Pareho lang, napaka-sarap mag-champion uli,” he said. “Wala kaming kaba sa game na ‘to.” – By Richard Dy
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