RAIN or Shine continued to get players – in this case, 'family members' – who played for the team in the defunct Philippine Basketball League.
After acquiring James Yap and Jay Washington, who both played for Welcoat in the PBL, in separate trades in the past few weeks, the Elasto Painters on Sunday drafted Mike Tolomia, younger brother of former Welcoat standout Chester.
“Una, masaya ako na makakalaro na ako sa PBA kasi dati pinapanood ko lang yung Rain or Shine,” the younger Tolomi said. “Masaya din ako kasi dati nung PBL naging team ito ng kuya ko.”
Welcoat was one of Chester’s stops in 2004 when he was bouncing between the pros and the amateurs.
Now, Mike gets to play for the Asian Coatings franchise in the PBA, something that Chester was never able to do in a six-year pro career.
New E-Painters coach Caloy Garcia has huge expectations on the younger Tolomia, who was their only pick in the rookie draft, after coach and player’s numerous battles in the PBA D-League.
“Siguro nakitaan niya ako ng potential every time makalaban ko sila,” Tolomia said of Garcia. “Kasi first tsaka second conferences maraming beses kami nagkalaban. So sa first conference kami pa yata nagkatagpo sa semis so sa tingin ko alam na alam na niya laro ko.”
But Tolomia knows he first has to earn his spurs as he fights for minutes in a backcourt rotation that already features Maverick Ahanmisi, Jericho Cruz, and Chris Tiu.
“Siguro positive lang ako,” the 23-year-old playmaker out of Far Eastern University said. “Mga beterano na sila sa PBA. Sa tingin ko marami akong matututunan sa kanila, so gagamitin ko yun as motivation din para sa akin.”