MANILA, Philippines – Just like Magnolia, Rain or Shine has given a potential import switch a thought after a lackluster start in the PBA Governors’ Cup.
Yeng Guiao said the Elasto Painters still face “chemistry problems” four games into the conference with Michael Qualls as they have yet to crack the winning column after a 116-108 loss to Barangay Ginebra on Sunday, February 5.
Qualls finished with 23 points and 5 rebounds in the loss that dropped Rain or Shine to a tie with NorthPort for last place.
“We will determine if it would still be beneficial for us to keep him or to probably look for another import,” Guiao said.
“No problem with his intensity, effort, athletic ability, but sometimes, it is how you jell with your team, it is the chemistry, it is making people around you better.”
Qualls enjoyed a stellar run during his first PBA stint in the 2019 Governors’ Cup when he led NorthPort to its last semifinal appearance.
Seeded eighth, Qualls and the Batang Pier overcame a twice-to-win disadvantage and stunned top seed NLEX – then still coached by Guiao – to reach the final four.
But Qualls has yet to translate that success with Rain or Shine even as he puts up solid averages of 26.5 points, 11.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1 steal this conference.
“I’m actually okay with my locals. But as good, as athletic, as aggressive as Michael is, I still think we’re having chemistry problems,” Guiao said.
“A really good import or not – just a good import – is a player who comes into a team and makes it look better. I think that is where the value is.”
“You may produce the numbers, the highlights, but the more important thing is if you’re able to make the people around you better. That is what we look at.”
Guiao, though, said the Elasto Painters have yet to identify a possible replacement as they try to regroup before deciding on Qualls’ fate.
Fortunately for Rain or Shine, it has a one-week break to figure out its import situation ahead of its next game against Blackwater on February 12 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“It is hard to think, so we have to clear our heads tonight and determine what we need to do tomorrow,” said Guiao. – Rappler.com
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