Call it resilience.
That’s one virtue Rain or Shine is showing right now for coming through with a Houdini act – not only once but twice already.
And they did it without the 7-foot-3 Bruno Sundov who fouled out in the team’s last two games due to some questionable calls as in the eyes of coach Yeng Guiao.
“We are finding ways to win,” said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao.
The Elasto Painters claimed their fourth straight win with a thrilling 96-93 victory Sunday night over Barangay Ginebra San Miguel that improved their record to 4-1, one game behind the Alaska Aces (5-0) and just half-game off the Petron Blaze Boosters (5-1).
The Croatian import rode on the bench for most of the crucial stage of the game after picking up his last foul with still three minutes left.
But Guiao argued that some fouls called on Sundov were questionable.
“Sometimes I don’t understand what a foul is, and what’s not. Our import probably is having the same problems,” said Guiao.
“We had two lucky escapes. For the most part, our import was not able to play. But we needed him to be playing,” added Guiao, whose team also pulled off a similar heartbreaking win opposite Air21 (99-97) last Wednesday.
Against Air21, Sundov left the game with still 1:10 remaining due to fouls. He played for only 27 minutes and finished with 17 points and five rebounds.
Against the league’s most popular squad, he finished with just 12 points, five rebounds and four assists in 24 minutes of play. Obviously, he disappointed with the officiating.
Guiao credited his locals for stepping up, particularly Beau Belga who he made clutchplays on both ends down the stretch on his way to collecting 18 points, nine rebounds, one assist and 2 shot blocks against the Kings.
Belga’s pressure-packed free throws with 3.9 seconds left put Rain or Shine up three (96-93).
Aside from Belga, Jervy Cruz also had a solid performance for the Painters with 13 points, while last season’s Rookie of the Year Paul Lee finished with 11 markers, including a booming three-pointer late in the fourth quarter.
“Tribute and credit go to the locals for stepping up and working hard for the absence of the import,” said Guiao as he will continue to miss Jeff Chan, who is out for four more weeks after dislocating his left thumb during practice two weeks back.
“It’s really just a team effort, helping each other out,” added Guiao, whose team would have been unbeaten in five games if not for that controversial defeat to Alaska (83-81) last Feb. 9 when Sundov was hacked with five seconds left but no foul was called on rookie Calvin Abueva.