YENG Guiao expressed satisfaction with the performance of Rain or Shine import Rick Jackson in his PBA Commissioner’s Cup debut, but hinted he may have to prove himself every night to keep the job.
The wide-bodied Jackson provided the inside presence the Elasto Painters sorely needed this season, coming away with 30 points and 10 rebounds in the team’s 86-89 loss to Talk ‘N Text on Wednesday night.
He also shot well from the free-throw line, which was a pleasant surprise for Guiao.
“Yun ang hinahanap namin, yung inside presence niya (Jackson)," said Guiao. "My concern was his free throws. Kasi sa practice, ang sama ng free throws nya pero at least dito, nasa 70 percent, so that's good.”
Guiao revealed Wayne Chism, the team’s original choice who played for them last season, suddenly became available after getting his release papers from his Israeli team days before the team's Commissioner's Cup debut.
But with Jackson playing well, Guiao said he isn’t inclined to make any chances as far as the team's import is concerned for now.
“He erased a lot of doubts, but it's not just one game. He has to prove himself every night,” said the fiery Rain or Shine mentor. “He played one good game so we're happy, but he has to play a lot more good games.”
Guiao said he isn't blaming Jackson or any Rain or Shine player for the loss, pinning the blame instead on a couple of referees' calls in the game which he deemed questionable.
He specifically pointed to a charging foul called on Rain or Shine star Paul Lee and another foul charged against JR Quinahan when he tried to stop Talk 'N Text forward Ranidel de Ocampo.
“We lost this game only because of the bad calls,” said the 55-year-old bench tactician. “I thought Paul (Lee) got fouled, tapos bailout (foul) 'yung kay JR (Quinahan).
"If they just gave us 'yung call kay Paul na pumasok, and-one yun eh, nawalan kami ng two points. This game was decided by a few points lang so malaki 'yun.”
Still, Guiao said they are ready to move on, knowing that they have given their best against a Texters side that has gone 7-0 against them dating back to last season’s Commissioner’s Cup.
“Kung nananalo ka, why change something that is working? Natalo kami ngayon but we're happy with the way we played,” he said.