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    Caloy Garcia expects rookies to bring winning mentality to Rain or Shine

    Jan 30, 2020
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    RAIN of Shine coach Caloy Garcia is determined to give all his rookies the chance to shine when the 2020 PBA season rolls along.

    The Elastopainters have gone on a youth movement in the offseason, signing rookies Adrian Wong, Clint Doliguez, Prince Rivero, and Vince Tolentino to contracts.The new boys include Mike Nieto, who is on loan to Gilas Pilipinas.

    Garcia assured the changes are not cosmetic, assuring that these rookies from winning college programs will be given the chance to prove their worth, which was why ROS traded away Ed Daquioag to TNT for draft picks.

    “We want to add some mixtures sa lineup,” said Garcia. “The reason why we took Ed out was because we have four players coming in in that same position. We wanted a different look for the team.”

    The rookies will be joining young holdovers Rey Nambatac and Javee Mocon as well as the veterans led by James Yap, Beau Belga, and Gabe Norwood.


    “Sayang kasi first rounders mga ‘to. Given the chance, basically, what we need from them is more of the energy,” said Garcia.

    Norwood is glad to have the rookies on aboard, pointing out that all them of them developed a winning attitude in their careers in college.

    “I guess I’m one of the old guys still around. It’s awesome to see the young guys coming in and I tell other people, they brought the young guys in but they are all winners. They’ve won in their respective levels whether it’s the UAAP or the NCAA,” said Norwood.

    Norwood said the four rookies have been learning fast during the Elastopainters’ build-up for the 2020 season.

    “All are super skilled. If you look at Adrian, Vince, Prince, and Clint, they are all guys who are pretty versatile, they can play multiple positions, and I think that’s a big asset for our team," said the Gilas Pilipinas mainstay.

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    "That’s kinda the trademark that we’ve been doing here. I think they are going to do a good job, learning very fast, basketball IQs are high. We have high expectations for the guys,” added Norwood.

    “Winning is contagious. It is a habit and that’s the type of culture we want to build here. Getting used to being in big games, winning in big games, and bringing in the championship,” said Norwood.


      Despite the player movements, Garcia believes Rain or Shine will remain a very competitive team.

      “I think we will still be competitive. It shows in practice. They have been working hard. They have been competing. Alam naman natin na playing time is always an issue. They have to work hard for it,” said Garcia.

      Norwood shares Garcia's sentiment.

      “I don’t see why not. I’m 11 going on 12 years here. We have been one of the more consistent teams in the league. I think I’ve only missed the playoffs three times in my career. I expect that to go the same way even with the young guys coming in,” said Norwood.

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      PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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