RAIN or Shine coach Caloy Garcia is trying to draw a sense of urgency from his players without having to scold them like former coach Yeng Guiao used to as the team looks to avoid playoff complications in the PBA Philippine Cup.
The Elasto Painters have lost their last three games, putting their postseason hopes in peril and leaving them in a must-win situation against Alaska in their 7 p.m. matchup at the Astrodome in Pasay.
“I told them I’m not Coach Yeng that’s going to curse at you, guys,” Garcia said after the team’s 117-99 loss to Globalport last Sunday. “We know what the problem is and we just have to fix it.”
“It’s normal for a coach (to scold players) but the difference is ‘di sila minumura (ngayon),” he added. “It’s just that we have to make them believe that we have a chance. We have to make them believe that we are still a good team.”
Garcia felt his team has been playing selfish basketball during a losing streak that saw the team slip to 5-5 (win-loss), although they still managed to dish out 19 assists in their loss to the Batang Pier.
“Some players are just playing for themselves, not talking anymore like the old Rain or Shine team na tayo na we help each other out,” the young coach said. “Ngayon, watak-watak yung dating nila.”
“The main problem is between them,” he added. “Nawawala yung sharing the ball, parang minsan nagkakahiyaan sila sa pasahan. We are not as fluid as before.”
The E-Painters could’ve booked a quarterfinal ticket outright as early as three games back when they were on the verge of halting San Miguel Beer’s win streak, only to commit a late turnover that allowed the Beermen to force overtime and steal the game.
Then, they lost to an eliminated Meralco by 10 points, before allowing the Batang Pier, behind Terrence Romeo and Stanley Pringle, to blow them out by 18 points last Sunday, leaving them on the cusp of having to face Blackwater in a playoff for the last spot if they lose to the Aces, who are already assured of a postseason spot at 6-4.
“Well, it’s really frustrating as a coach because sa San Miguel game, if we held the ball and we got fouled we could have won the game, we could have been waiting,” Garcia said.
“If you can beat Alaska going into the next round then it could be a good sign,” he added. “I’m more worried of our players on how they react and I hope they can step out of their shadows and talk to themselves and maayos nila problema nila.”