You couldn’t have painted a better picture for the Elastopainters — as they exceeded expectations when they nabbed the top overall seed, boasting a 9-2 win-loss record in the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
However, as their team shined throughout the conference, the Ginebra Gin Kings rained down on their parade as their championship experience proved to be too much for Rain or Shine in their semi finals tiff.
FOX Sports PH takes a look on the Elastopainters and how they’ve fared overall in this year’s iteration of the Commissioner’s Cup.
Overall team statistics indicate that Rain or Shine has put a premium on teamwork and a much concerted effort on defense as they averaged third in steals (9.1), second in assists (26.1), and were the least fouling team with only 18 per game. Their combination of length, athleticism, and grit have surely helped their cause, thanks in large part to Reggie Johnson’s outstanding performance.
Despite winning a lot of games in this conference, the Elastopainters’ average winning margin was only 6.4 points, indicating their ability to come up clutch in the crucial stretches of games. In their losses, however, the team’s average losing margin was -11.5 points, as they failed to reach the century mark.
The hulking Reggie Johnson proved to be the perfect fit for Rain or Shine as he tallied norms of 23.2 points, 17.2 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game on 48-percent shooting from the field. He also logged the most amount of minutes by averaging 35.3 minutes per game, despite Coach Caloy Garcia’s emphasis in equitable minutes distribution.
As for the locals, Raymond Almazan, Chris Tiu, and Maverick Ahanmisi were vital cogs for the Elastopainters by posting scoring averages of 15.5, 12.3, and 10.7 respectively.
It is evident that Coach Caloy Garcia was saving James Yap until the playoffs as his scoring average skyrocketed from 7.8 points in the regular season to 15.8 points per game, including a quarterfinals game against GlobalPort where he notched 27 markers — his highest output donning a Rain or Shine uniform. It’s undeniable that he has enough gas left in the tank.
Looking forward, what can we expect from Rain or Shine?
Since Yeng Guiao’s departure a few seasons ago, Rain or Shine has been underachieving for quite some time — drawing some heavy criticism from some of their die-hard fans. More than anything, Coach Garcia should be commended for his efforts in retooling the squad.
It’s quite unfortunate that the Elastopainters’ campaign ended the way it did in this Commissioner’s Cup. However, with their core intact and their young guns improving, they might continue to surprise us in the upcoming Governor’s Cup – given if they find a suitable import.
Watch all three FOX Sports channels live on the FOX+ app. For more info on FOX+, click here or to start your free 30 day trial, download the FOX+ app.