RAIN or Shine coach Yeng Guiao wants his team to play tougher and stronger defense, particularly against taller teams, considering that the Elasto Painters are parading one of the smallest lineups in the coming PBA season.
“Our main mission this coming season is to fill up the position now vacated by our former import Jamelle Cornley. He averaged about 15 rebounds the past (Governors Cup) conference. And the main problem we have is, where do we get that big number of rebounds?” said Guiao after a tough 101-98 win over Petron on Thursday at the Acropolis gym.
With only 6-6 Beau Belga and 6-4 JR Quinahan as their legitimate big men, Guiao said he has tasked Fil-Am Gabe Norwood to provide help inside the paint this coming season to help compensate for the rebounding vacuum left by their prolific American import.
“Gabe is averaging close to eight rebounds I think the past conference. That is why we’re asking guards like him to really help out on the rebounds. We need to be tougher and stronger,” added Guiao, whose team is scheduled to leave on Saturday for a three-day vacation trip to Bangkok, Thailand as part of Rain or Shine’s management’s bonus for the team's maiden championship.
With a smaller lineup this coming season, Guiao also said they are expected to play an up-tempo kind of game anchored on Norwood and wingmen Jireh Ibanez, Ryan Arana, Jeff Chan and even rookie guard Chris Tiu.
“We just can’t play the halfcourt set because we can’t afford opposing team to set up their defense on us. Masyado kasi kaming maliit. Kaya kailangan din namin paghandaan ng maigi yung mga malalaking teams gaya ng Petron, B-Meg (San Mig Coffee now), Ginebra and even Alaska,” said Guiao.
Tiu didn’t suit up against Petron as he is still recuperating from a hamstring injury he sustained before the draft, but Guiao his prized rookie to be back in practice by next week after the Bangkok trip.