MANILA, Philippines – A new Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) season kicks off on Sunday, November 17. Anticipation is high especially with the influx of young talent that came via the PBA draft.
Who are the teams and players to watch out for? Rappler gives you a preview of each team and how we expect them to fare in the PBA All-Filipino Conference.
RAIN OR SHINE ELASTO PAINTERS
Philippine Cup recap
Fresh from winning in the 2012 Governors Cup, Rain or Shine battled toe-to-toe with the rest of PBA’s contenders. They finished 3rd with a 9-5 card, engaged in a semifinals match-up with San Mig Coffee where they emerged victorious, 4-2. But Talk ‘N Text showed the main difference in the finals: experience. The Elasto Painters were swept in the championship round, failing in their bid for back-to-back PBA titles.
Head coach: Yeng Guiao
Assistants: Caloy Garcia, Matthew Makalintal, Jay Legacion, Mike Buendia
Seeking another championship run, Rain or Shine shows depth in every spot. They have a very tall backcourt with Gabe Norwood manning the point with Jeff Chan, Ryan Arana, and Jireh Ibanes taking care of the wings. Their frontcourt looks solid with the Extra Rice, Inc. tandem of JR Quinahan and Beau Belga, plus Jervy Cruz and new addition Raymond Almazan.
There’s a surplus of backcourt players, but Coach Yeng Guiao says it is a “good problem.” Having said that, the Elasto Painters should deal with this issue as the season gets going.
Belga just signed a lucrative contract extension with Rain or Shine and he’s out there to prove that he will be a big factor in Rain or Shine’s campaign. The Gilas Pilipinas stalwart will be the Elasto Painters’ most effective big man.
Can a retooled Rain or Shine squad return to the PBA finals?
Coach Yeng Guiao added, the necessary tools that make the Elasto Painters a strong contender are there. The addition of Almazan gives them a solid defender. Having Jeric Teng and Alex Nuyles gives them an assurance that their backcourt will remain loaded even if Norwood and Chan opt to go full time for Gilas Pilipinas.
Philippine Cup forecast
Rain or Shine is the dark horse finalist. They have an experienced and intact unit. This would be a big chance to bring home the crown. – Rappler.com
Check out other team previews:
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