RAIN or Shine coach Yeng Guiao is sticking with his current roster even after the Elasto Painters got clobbered by San Miguel Beer behind big man June Mar Fajardo during the two teams’ PBA Governors Cup game Friday night.
“It (Rain or Shine’s lack of size) only emphasized now because JR Quinahan is not able to play. Eh kapag nandiyan na si JR, at least may reliever na si Beau (Belga),” Guiao told Spin.ph after the Elasto Painters fell to an 0-2 record in the season-ending conference following a 97-92 loss against the Beermen.
The 6-foot-10 Fajardo proved to be the big difference in the game as he pounded the opposition in the second half, scoring 20 of his league career-high 28 points during that stretch while grabbing 18 rebounds as he sent Belga and rookie Raymond Almazan one after the other to the sidelines on account of six fouls during the pivotal fourth quarter.
Belga and Almazan are left to man the inside for Rain or Shine as Quinahan is currently sideline with an injury.
Still, Guiao said adding another big man via a trade has always been an option, but as of the moment, he doesn’t think it’s “urgent”.
“Last conference, malalaki naman ang import. It’s (trading for a big man) always an option, but it’s not an urgent option right now,” he added.
Outside of Belga and the 6-foot-7 Almazan, Guiao’s next available big men are Larry Rodriguez and Jervy Cruz, both undersized in the center/ forward positions.
Cruz played sparingly against the Beermen as he continues to recover from an MCL (medial collateral ligament) sprain on his knee.
Rodriguez and Cruz stand at around 6-4, a huge size handicap when matched up against Fajardo, who also weighs more than 250 pounds this season.
Despite starting the tournament with two straight losses, Guiao said he remains satisfied with the effort of his team, which managed to recover from a 12-point first half deficit and even took a five-point lead against San Miguel midway through the third canto.
“I’m still happy with the way we played. We showed some effort,” said Guiao. “We had to get back from a bad start in the first quarter with a strong second quarter. We kept the game close from second quarter onwards, but we just couldn‘t solve the size situation.”