It seemed like the young Elasto Painters squad is finally showcasing the identity innate to every Yeng Guiao team.
In face of adversity after playing without its import Greg Smith II due to clearance issues, Rain or Shine saw plenty of its players stepping up and readily wore the hero’s cape to help the team survive Terrafirma by a hairline, 120-118, on Thursday, Feb. 16.
Andrei Caracut picked up the scoring cudgels with a career-high 25 points while Leonard Santillan came up with the biggest play in the game, converting the go-ahead basket with 0.7 seconds left to secure the win.
“The guys stepped up and one thing that we also want to accomplish with this team is to be able to close games,” said Guiao who lauded how his team showed their character in the endgame.
“‘Yung alam namin paano tapusin yung laro, eto dehado kami so this is really good development for us. Developing the team mentally and trying to cope in adverse situations,” he added.
And it was not only the young guns that also stepped up but veterans like Beau Belga and Gabe Norwood all turned back the hands of time and played as if it was 2016 all over again when they became part of Guiao’s champion team.
Norwood, for one, put up his best game in three seasons with 18 points while also shadowing Terrafirma import Jordan Williams who they managed to limit to just three points in the first half.
“Ang nawala sa amin 38 points yun ni Greg, the last time he played, he gave us 38 points so kung bigyan niya kami ng 30 points ngayon several rebounds and several assists okay na sana but we have to make up for those number we lost with him not being able to play,” rued Guiao.
“It's a good test of character. di sila nga give up, di sila nasiraan ng loob so magandang development ito sa amin,” noted the veteran mentor.