RAIN or Shine coach Caloy Garcia feels fortunate to have Carl Montgomery as an import to replace injured Denzel Bowles with only two games to go before the Elastopainters’ next match on Wednesday against Magnolia.
The Elastopainters went scampering for a replacement import after their Saturday game against Blackwater after Bowles suffered a knee injury in the match. Bowles was rushed to the hospital after feeling a crack in his knee during a collision with Jeron Teng.
After considering several options including picking up one of the Mighty Sports imports who will be playing in the Jones Cup, the Elastopainters instead got Montgomery, a Chicago State product who had stints in Europe and, most recently, for a Singapore-based team playing in the Malaysia league.
Garcia feels there will be little adjustments since the 30-year-old Montgomery was able to pick up the plays very quickly and that jetlag won’t be a factor since he came from Singapore.
“We have one more day of practice. As we see now, we are trying to do some extras with him. He is physically strong but iba pa rin ‘yung pagdating sa regular game,” said Garcia.
“We are going to use him in the next two gmes and hopefully, at the end of the conference. He looks okay. The nice thing is wala siguro siyang jetlag,” said Garcia.
Listed at 6-foot-8, Montgomery will be one of the smallest imports for the conference. But Garcia is confident Montgomery brings a lot to the table for the Elastopainters.
“He is going to fit well. Mabilis pumick up ng play. We will be a small team now. At least, we can be a quicker team. Nagfifit naman siya sa quickness ng mga players,” said Garcia.
Montgomery will come in with the Elastopainters holding a 4-5 win-loss record and in a logjam in the middle of the pack.
“First practice was good. The guys are embracing me. I feel welcome. This is going to take me (time to) gel with the guys. I’m running a new offense. Just playing with my energy and I think we will be fine,” said Montgomery.
Montgomery, who arrived in the country on Monday at 1 a.m., said he will be doing everything to bring Rain or Shine to the playoffs.
“I’m just going to do what the team needs for us to win. The goal is to make a playoff run,” said Montgomery.
“I only have four hours of sleep but jetlag won’t be an issue,” Montgomery said.
Montgomery is also looking forward to playing in the PBA, which he sees as the best league in this part of the world.
“I heard this is the toughest league in Southeast Asia so I’m prepared to do the best I can for this team,” said Montgomery.