Players-only lunch allows Painters to regroup, clinch crown
Jeff Chan knew exactly what Rain or Shine needed after losing back-to-back games in the 2016 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals.
Chan initiated a lunch-meeting at a restaurant in Greenhills on Monday, a day after the Elasto Painters got blown out in Game 5 by the resurgent Alaska Aces and that get-together was meant for the players to talk and refocus.
“Gusto ko lang mag-get-together kami at isipin kung ano ba talaga yung goal namin,” Chan, the veteran shooting guard, said.
“Gusto ko lang i-enjoy namin yung moment na yun at ma-relax yung mind, pagusapan kung ano talaga yung gusto namin,” he added.
Minus their coaches, the players themselves figured out their problems heading into Game 6.
“We talked about kung ano ang gagawin namin, open forum naming lahat,” said guard Jericho Cruz. “Everybody said our mistakes, and talked on how we could improve on. We knew how we lost two in a row and everybody was down. It seems like kami ang naghahabol ng series. We just told each other to have fun and just play.”
“Pinagusapan namin na yung about sa mga runner-up finish namin. Nakakasawa din kasi talaga. Nagkaisa lang kami at nagtulong-tulong,” said star guard Paul Lee.
True enough, the Elasto Painters came out with the same intensity they had in the first three games of the series to finally seize the crown following a 109-92 rout on Wednesday night. Lee was named Finals MVP.
“I thank God and I thank the players na nag-respond silang lahat,” a relieved Chan said.
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