D-Day in Dipolog for Rick Jackson as Rain or Shine puts Wayne Chism on standby
With Wayne Chism put on standby by Rain or Shine, the game in Dipolog on Saturday against Purefoods will likely determine the fate of current import Rick Jackson. Jerome Ascano/ Jaime Campos

COACH Yeng Guiao confirmed that Rain or Shine has put Wayne Chism on standby, his return to the PBA depending on the result of the team's out-of-town match against defending Commissioner’s Cup champion Purefoods Star on Saturday in Dipolog City.

Even before the start of the mid-season conference, Guiao has explored the possibility of bringing back the 6-8 Chism, who took the Elasto Painters to the semifinals in last season’s Commissioner’s Cup.

Chism initially was unavailable but eventually secured a release from his ballclub in Israel, although by that time Rain or Shine had already committed to bringing in Rick Jackson.

Now, it's D-Day for Rain or Shine as far as its import situation is concerned.

“Yes, we’re already talking (Chism), pero sabi namin, standby lang muna siya at ihanda lang mga dokumentong kailangan niya kung sakali,” Guiao told Spin.ph on Friday.

[See With Chism available, Guiao hints Jackson will have to prove himself every night]

The fiery Rain or Shine mentor said they are in the process of evaluating Jackson, who led the Elasto Painters to an even 2-2 while averaging 21.2 points, 16.5 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 2.0 blocks.

The ultimate question, Guiao said, is on whether Rain or Shine can go deep in the playoffs with Jackson.

“Tinitingnan pa rin kasi namin kung kaya kaming dalhin ni Rick Jackson (deep in the playoffs) so by the end of Saturday’s game, we will have to decide na dun sa Dipolog since nandun na naman kami lahat,” he said.

“But we can bring in Wayne Chism anytime naman.”

Guiao said it is not necessarily the result of the Purefoods game but Jackson's performance that will carry more weight in the decision.

“We might lose the game not because of him (Jackson), and we may also win with him not playing a crucial role, the concern is his ability to complement the locals. And if we make the playoffs, how deep he’ll help in that stage,” said Guiao.

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The Elasto Painters are coming off a 92-87 loss to surprise leader Meralco Bolts on Wednesday in a game where they squandered a 13-point lead in the fourth period.

Purefoods is off to a 4-0 start, with an average winning margin of 17.5 points. 

Follow the writer on Twitter: @richava