GUESS who’s making a comeback for Rain or Shine?
The Elasto Painters have reactivated veteran Jireh Ibanes and could play his first game in two years on Friday when the team makes its PBA Philippine Cup debut against the NLEX Road Warriors at the Astrodome.
Ibanes,36, last played during the 2015-16 season and suited up for a total of 36 games where he averaged 2.2 points and 1.0 rebound.
He was then made a part of the franchise’s coaching staff the next two seasons before finding his way back to the Elasto Painters’ active roster to start the year.
Calls made to Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia weren’t returned, although veteran players’ agent Danny Espiritu, who represents Ibanes, did confirm the signing of the former Defensive Player of the Year to a one-season contract.
Ironically, the last time Ibanes played for Rain or Shine also marked the last season of Yeng Guiao as Elasto Painters coach.
Ibanes, a product of University of the Philippines, was part of two championship teams in the 2012 Governors Cup and 2016 Commissioner’s Cup. The 6-foot-2 native of Roxas, Palawan twice made the All-Defensive Team (2012 and 2014) apart from being named the top defensive player in 2012 by the PBA Press Corps.
He is likewise the only remaining player from the original Welcoat team that debuted in the league during the 2006-07 season. Ibanes was the team’s second-round pick (11th overall) in the previous rookie draft.
Ibanes has career averages of 3.6 points and 1.7 rebounds in 424 games played.