RAIN or Shine coach Yeng Guiao is hopeful rookie Alex Nuyles’ growing confidence early in his PBA career could augur well for the Elasto Painters’ title drive in the PLDT myDSL-Philippine Cup.
While the team still relies on the talent core of Paul Lee, Gilas mainstays Jeff Chan and Gabe Norwood, and big man Beau Belga, Guiao feels the rise of the former Adamson University star as a dependable player can can add scoring depth for the Elasto Painters.
“Alex played well again and that’s a good sign for us because he is proving himself to be a valuable asset even to the point that he can contribute in endgame situations,” Guiao said of Nuyles, selected no. 9 overall by Rain or Shine in last year’s Rookie Draft.
Nuyles fired 13 points, grabbed five rebounds, and dished off six assists in the Elasto Painters’ 90-88 win over defending champion Talk ‘N Text Saturday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
It was the team’s fifth straight win to raise its record to 9-3 overall in a tie for second place with Petron.
While Nuyles failed to score in the final period, Guiao said putting the rookie in the crucial juncture of the ball game is his way of helping the young guard mature as a pro.
“I just took a gamble and I think it will help him (Nuyles) out in the future,” said the mercurial Rain or Shine mentor.
“I thought that Alex was playing aggressive and defending well and that this was the time to be in that endgame situation. Jeff (Chan) will always be Jeff. He doesn’t need anymore seasoning in endgame situations.”
Nuyles, on the other hand, said his second straight strong offensive game was his way of playing aggressive basketball, especially against the three-time champion Tropang Texters.
“Ginagawa ko lang yung trabaho ko kasi sinasabi ni coach stay aggressive saka attack the basket para ma-open up ang shooters namin. Saka fish more fouls pag nag-drive kami,” said the soft-spoken Nuyles, who is averaging 14.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.0 assists in his last two games.