RAIN or Shine fans were left in a state of confusion when word spread that their colossal import Bruno Sundov is on the way out, the rumor becoming loud enough to reach team co-owner Terry Que.
“Papalitan na nga raw. Mabagal daw kasi eh,” said Que.
But when Spin.ph caught up with Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao, he immediately shot down the rumor, making it clear that Sundov - at 7-2 3/4 the tallest import to play in the pro league - is here to stay.
“Wala hindi totoo yun, bakit ko naman papalitan. Walang dahilan,” stressed Guiao.
“Actually, yung first game namin sa Alaska dapat panalo kami doon. Na-foul siya ... hindi tinawag. Yung second game double-double siya," Guiao added.
The outspoken bench tactician, however, admitted that they had their initial doubts on Sundov prior to the start of the Commissioner's Cup and had in fact planned on looking for a possible replacement.
“Nung umpisa, ini-evaluate namin, may offense pero walang quickness. Yun ang naging worry namin," Guiao said. "Pero sa haba niya at laki niya, nakakapag-compensate siya kaya hindi namin tinuloy ang plano."
Guiao said Sundov's size, passing skills and nice touch from the perimeter and beyond make him a perfect import for the 1-1 (win-loss) Painters.
“Yung size ni Bruno talagang nagpapa-angat sa kanya sa batch na ito (ng import)," said the Pampanga vice governor.
“Tapos sa height niya, mayroon siyang outside shooting. He can shoot the three. Marunong din pumasa, nare-recognize niya yung open teammates niya."
But if there is one thing that makes Sundov stand out, it's his size.
“Sa tingin ko walang import ngayon, o local, ang pwedeng bumantay sa kanya na mag-isa. Kailangan may help defense, kaya nagkaka-opening yung ibang players ko," Guiao said. “Malaki masyado si Bruno at marunong pumuwesto."
But is he the yardstick by which all other imports should be measured in this conference?
Nope, Guiao said.
“Si (Denzel) Bowles pa rin yan," he said. "Sanay na siya rito."