NLEX coach Yeng Guiao is forced to turn to Wayne Chism longer than usual as the tries to bridge the talent and maturity gap in his team in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, with its campaign continuing on Sunday night against Meralco at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Chism averaged 37.9 minutes in six elimination-round games for the Rain or Shine in the 2015 Commissioner’s Cup where he was named Best Import. He played just two games and limited minutes in the last midseason tournament where he had to be replaced due to an injury.
But right in his first game in another tour of duty under Guiao, although for a new team, the proven reinforcement saw action for over 40 minutes, registering 27 points, 21 boards, three assists, two blocks, and just one turnover, yet still not enough as the Road Warriors dropped a 113-105 decision at the hands of his former team.
“Wayne was a lot of help … and he had to play forty minutes – and I don’t play my import forty minutes,” Guiao said. “They’ll probably average thirty-five to thirty-six minutes.”
“But with our situation, I think kailangan siyang mag-stay sa court ng mas mahaba, not only because he scores, rebounds, and defends, but we need leadership inside,” the champion coach added as he drew the most local contribution from Carlo Lastimosa and Eric Camson. “We’re more stable with him inside.”
With the 29-year-old Chism anchoring the middle, the Road Warriors managed to stay in step with the defending champion Elasto Painters, who just proved steadier down the stretch.
“We were tested early and we were put into a position where we felt the pressure really early,” Guiao said. “And I guess that’s one thing we need to adapt to: hunting that pressure.”
The Road Warriors play their second game in three days, against a Bolts side that also saw action last Friday when they defeated Mahinrda, 94-86.
The game starts at 6:45 p.m.
Alex Stepheson banners the Bolts while Chris Newsome, Baser Amer, and Cliff Hodge provide the local support.
Rain or Shine seeks a second straight win as it takes on Mahindra in the curtain-raiser at 4:30 p.m.