Caloy Garcia rues E-Painters' second half collapse vs Bolts: 'We don't win the game in the first half'
Caloy Garcia seeks more from his second unit after ROS wasted an early lead built by the hot shooting of the team's starters. Jaime Campos

ANTIPOLO CITY – Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia rued the team’s failure to sustain a fine start that led to an 89-73 loss at the hands of Meralco Saturday night in the PBA Governors Cup at the Ynares Center here.

The Elasto Painters shot 50 percent from the field in the first half and enjoyed as much as a 21-7 lead in the first quarter behind the hot shooting of import JD Weatherspoon, Maverick Ahanmisi, and Gabe Norwood.

Alas, they couldn’t keep the momentum going and got outscored in the third quarter, 31-17, as the Bolts finally took control , 68-61, going to the payoff period.

In all, the Bolts dominated the second half, 52-29.

“I think we did a good job in the first half. But we don’t win the game in the first half,” said Garcia. “Meralco did a good adjustment (in the second half), they started scoring and they started making their three-point shot.”

[See James Yap crowning glory as Rain or Shine gunner finally joins elite 10,000-point club]

The Elasto Painters suffered a second straight loss to fall at a 1-2 record.

Garcia lauded his starting unit for doing a good job at both ends of the floor, but lamented failing to get anything from his second group, including two-time MVP James Yap.

The Rain or Shine superstar became the latest player to join the exclusive 10,000-point club, but shot just 3 of 13 from the field and finished with just seven points.

“Sabi niya naman kanina nanggigil siya,” said Garcia of Yap. “At least tapos na yang 10,000 na yan. I think right now he’ll be more comfortable.”

“The thing is the second group didn’t come to play today.”

[See Bolts overcome slow start to beat Painters and spoil James Yap’s milestone night]

Compounding Rain or Shine’s woes was the injury to veteran big man Jay Washington, who pulled his hamstring during the team’s debut game against Globalport.

At the most, Washington could be out for about a month.

“We need somebody else who could contribute especially sa outside shots,” said the Rain or Shine mentor. “Those na hindi nagagamit should be ready.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos