Photo by Czeasar Dancel
MANILA, Philippines – The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters are tied with the San Miguel Beermen after two games in their best-of-5 semifinal series in the PBA Governors’ Cup playoffs, but the team already has an idea of how they want things to shake out when they make their selections in the 2015 PBA Draft.
In an interview with Rappler, Elasto Painters head coach Yeng Guiao talked about what the franchise plans to do with its two first round draft picks come draft day on August 23 at Robinson’s Ermita.
One of Rain or Shine’s picks is the 2015 first-round pick of the NLEX Road Warriors, which they traded to the Elasto Painters last year in exchange for Kevin Alas - Rain or Shine’s no. two pick in the 2014 PBA Draft - who’s now with Talk ’N Text. That selection is projected to be somewhere in the top 5, most likely at no. 4.
Rain or Shine’s other pick is their own, which is projected to be one of the final selections in the first round owing to the Elasto Painters’ successful campaign this PBA season.
“We’re looking for bigs every time,” Guiao told Rappler. “The bigs naman (anyway) are just maybe [Troy] Rosario, [Moala] Tautuaa, Norbert Torres, or [Art] Dela Cruz.
“We have two draft picks actually in the first round,” Guiao said. “The early pick is for a big man, the later pick is probably for a 3 (small forward). A wing man with size.”
Tautuaa is the consensus number one pick in most PBA mock drafts, and considered a lock to go to Talk ’N Text, who traded for the 2015 first round draft pick of the Blackwater Elite, the worst team by record in the PBA this season.
Rosario is considered by scouts as the second best prospect in the draft and is expected to go at no. 2 to KIA, whose team manager Eric Pineda told Rappler that the team is also looking for a big man and would take the former National University star even if former two-time UAAP MVP Bobby Ray Parks, who will play for the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Summer League, will apply in the PBA Draft.
That leaves Rain or Shine with either Torres or Dela Cruz, per the initial list of options Guiao presented.
“I’ve been watching [PBA] D-League on TV, and some of these guys I’ve seen in the UAAP and NCAA, and I rely a lot on Coach Caloy [Garcia] and Coach Mike [Buendia],” Guiao said about the potential list of draftees, which will be finalized 3 days before the PBA Draft takes place.
“They’ve been coaching in the D-League also and in the college level, so I rely a lot on their opinion, plus what I already know about the players.”
Rain or Shine currently has 4 big men on their rotation: Beau Belga, Jervy Cruz, JR Quinahan, and Raymond Almazan. Outside of Almazan, a former NCAA MVP, the team’s bigs are more perimeter-oriented and not really exactly threats down the block.
Rain or Shine is loaded with guards, but only has Gabe Norwood and Jireh Ibanes as natural small forwards in their line-up. Guiao wants a 3-man with size, and in a perfect world for the Elasto Painters, they’re hoping Dela Cruz will still be available when it’s time for them to make their second first-round selection.
Guiao told Rappler that if Dela Cruz falls to his team, he plans to use the long, 6-foot-3 San Beda standout as a small forward as well due to his versatility.