WILL the real Rain or Shine team please stand up?
That’s what Elasto Painters coach Yeng Guiao is begging for as his wards square off against the Barako Bull Energy on Friday in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Although they are in the middle of the pack with an even 2-2 win-loss card, Guiao believes his squad’s performance leaves much to be desired especially after coming off a lopsided 99-76 defeat at the hands of Talk ‘N Text last Sunday.
“I know it’s still early, but I’m a little bit concerned already,” the veteran mentor said. “Kasi ang tinalo lang namin yung mga expansion teams. Yung mga legitimate contenders, we were dominated.”
The Painters, perennial all-Filipino conference title contenders who reached the Finals before surrendering to San Mig Coffee in the last edition, defeated Kia, 117-88 and Blackwater, 92-75, but fell to San Miguel Beer, 87-79, apart from the loss to the Tropang Texters.
“This is not our expectation,” Guiao said. “We have to put more pressure on ourselves to perform. Lack of effort: that’s the issue.”
Proof was that the Texters mightily outrebounded the Painters, 62-31.
“Rebounding is really a function of your desire and willingness to work hard,” Guiao said. “If you can lose by thirty-one rebounds, that means you did not work hard.”
Guiao, however, won’t be there to motivate the Painters further as the concurrent Pampanga representative bared to Spin.ph on Thursday he has been tasked by House Speaker Sonny Belmonte to attend a conference on climate change overseas.
Top deputy Caloy Garcia confirmed the news and will instead call the shots against the Energy.
Tipoff is at 4:15 p.m. in a match succeeded by the encounter between Talk ‘N Text and Kia at 7 o’clock.
Garcia said Painters star Paul Lee, who sustained a contusion on his right shinbone in the game against the Texters, is expected to play after practicing on Thursday.
However, Jervy Cruz (hand), and Ryan Araña and Chris Tiu, who are both nursing hamstring injuries, are questionable.
The Energy are not an expansion team, but are performing like one after going winless in their first three games.
Garcia, though, remains wary of the Koy Banal-mentored Energy, who are eager to barge into the win column.
“Their record doesn’t translate to how they really play.”
Talk ‘N Text, toting a similar record as ROS, takes on a Sorento side that has lost its last three games after winning its opening match.