RAIN or Shine has continued its transition from the Yeng Guiao era as it has slowly shifted to a different system from the one that the Elasto Painters ran under the fiery mentor who led them to two titles and numerous semifinal stints.
Banking for so long on Guiao’s Post-Trailer offense, the E-Painters are now turning to the Dribble-Drive offense, a system they ran the first time current coach Caloy Garcia handled the team, a high-octane attack led by Gabe Norwood and former star Sol Mercado.
“It was effective at that time,” Garcia said in a chat with SPIN.ph after practice on Monday. “It worked for our shooters, it worked for our guards who can penetrate, and the bigs would play a big factor kasi sa kanila na…”
Garcia, who steered his team to two semifinals appearance from 2008 to 2010, explained that he decided to make the change to give teams a different look.
“We’re putting the same thing, but now we’re injecting yung one-on-one, somebody to create, kasi I think people have scouted this team already na puro ball screen,” Garcia said. “So we just wanted to inject something new that can help our guards who can create.”
“Basically, I’m allowing all the players to shoot,” he added. “The same thing pa rin; I’m just trying to put some more ball movement. And the players have been responding. Medyo nung umpisa hirap sila, pero when they were starting to get why we were doing it, medyo nagugustuhan rin nila.”
One player who Gracia feels has thrived in the new system right away is James Yap.
“James has a hard time in the ball screen, pero dumarating sa nagwa-one-on-one siya, kaya niyang umatake,” Garcia said. “It’s helping everybody.”
The system is also nothing new for the E-Painters’ Gilas Pilipinas representatives in Raymond Almazan, Mike Tolomia, and recently re-activated longtime member Gabe Norwood as the national team runs the same offense.
“It would also help Raymond and even si Gabe,” Garcia said. “There’s nothing much of a difference; syempre may mga konting adjustment. The nice thing about it is our import can play the three and the four position, so it fits even with sila Jay-Wash. It also helps our bigger wings.”
“Even Mike, kasi we know he’s good in the dribble-drive,” he added.
How the E-Painters can thrive as a unit remains to be seen, but so far, so good based on their two tune-up games – both resulting in wins – against Phoenix and NLEX.
“We’ve been trying it at medyo nagi-improve kami sa dalawang tune-up games,” Garcia said. “But of course, when it comes to the real game, iba na yung depensa, so….Pero tingin ko naman nagugustuhan ng mga players.”