RAIN or Shine coach Yeng Guiao is not requiring Pierre Henderson-Niles to deliver monster numbers; he simply needs to get the job done defending the paint against Barangay Ginebra in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinal series.
The wide-bodied Henderson-Niles scored just 12 points for the second straight game, along with 10 rebounds, two assists, and one block against four turnovers in 32 minutes — an effort which proved enough as the Elasto Painters overcame the Gin Kings, 88-84, in the series opener.
The E-Painters seek to finish off the Gin Kings in Game Two of the best-of-three series on Tuesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
“It’s a team effort,” Guiao said. “We’re not asking our import to produce incredible numbers for us, but we’re just asking him to be there, steady, not get dominated in the middle, which is always our problem whenever we play Ginebra.”
“We get dominated in the middle by their bigs, especially Greg (Slaughter),” he added. “But with an import who’s as wide and strong as (Henderson-Niles), we’re able to minimize that kind of damage.”
JR Quinahan and Jeff Chan have been picking up most of the offensive slack and look to do the same as the E-Painters seek to dictate the pace throughout after settling for the Gin Kings’ tempo early in the series opener that left them in a huge hole early.
“Throughout this series, we should be able to keep pushing the ball,” Guiao said ahead of the 7 p.m. matchup preceded by Game Two of the series between Tropang TNT and Alaska at 4:15 p.m.
The Texters took Game One, 106-99, on Sunday and likewise seek to sweep the Aces to advance to the semifinals against sister team Meralco.
Troy Rosario and import David Simon delivered the key baskets that negated the Aces comeback led by Calvin Abueva.