YENG Guiao may not be around anymore, but his brand of basketball remains evident in this Rain or Shine crew.
Thriving in the same fast-paced style of play that their former coach instilled, the Elasto Painters cruised past TNT Katropa, 101-87, to jumpstart their PBA Philippine Cup campaign on Wednesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Benefiting from the absence of resting TNT superstar Jayson Castro, the E-Painters led for most part of the game and maintained a sizeable cushion in the endgame to get rewarded with the result.
Jericho Cruz fired 18 points to lead seven E-Painters who scored at least nine points each.
“I reminded them before the game that coach Yeng is not arriving tonight,” new RoS coach Caloy Garcia said. “We’re going to miss him, but we have to move on.”
“At least now we now we can still win,” he added. “Hopefully the players come out with the same character and intensity, kasi yun lang naman ang hiningi ko sa players – just play with fire.”
After the Texters grabbed the early lead, it didn’t take long before the E-Painters turned the tables by going ahead after the first quarter as they lived to Garcia’s expectations.
Finally armed with new contracts entering the season, the Elasto Painters delivered a rejuvenated performance.
Apart from Cruz, Beau Belga showed more spring in his step as he finished with 14 points and seven boards, while Raymond Almazan added 13 points and 12 rebounds as he had the same scoring output as Gabe Norwood.
Rookie Mike Tolomia also delivered in his debut with 11 points, four boards, two assists, and one steal in less than 16 minutes off the bench, while Jay Washington added nine points and five boards in also his first game in an RoS uniform.
Ranidel de Ocampo took the cudgels in the absence of Castro, tallying 24 points, 10 boards, five assists, and two steals that went for naught.
ROS 101 – Cruz 18, Belga 14, Norwood 13, Almazan 13, Tolomia 11, Ahanmisi 10, Washington 9, Ponferada 6, Chan 5, Tiu 2, Matias 0, Trollano 0
TNT 87 – De Ocampo 24, Rosario 16, Pogoy 9, Fonacier 9, Rosser 8, Reyes 7, Williams 6, Tautuaa 4, Carey 2, Nuyles 2, Rosales 0, Seigle 0
Quarterscores: 20-12, 42-35, 66-57, 101-87