Addressing Rain or Shine’s rebounding woes was mainly the reason why it made a move to acquire Bradwyn Guinto via trade just recently.
Elasto Painters head coach Caloy Garcia said as much in Tiebreaker Vodcasts’ Coaches Unfiltered, presented by SMART Thursday when asked about the deal that was the first trade for the PBA’s 46th season.
“Basically, we were trying to fill up a hole that we needed. We were probably one of the worst teams rebounding-wise,” he said.
Looking at the numbers last season held in the Clark bubble, Rain or Shine was just eighth in rebounding with 47.9 a game, and ranked ninth in rebounds allowed as it let the opposition haul down an average of 51.6
“There were games that I think we could’ve won if we were just, like, one or two rebounds away,” said Garcia, who’s entering his fifth season as the Elasto Painters’ chief mentor, in the podcast also supported by Mighty Sports.
Guinto only played sparingly in the bubble with per-game averages of 2.22 points and 1.78 rebounds in 10 minutes. But unbeknownst to many, Garcia said that RoS had been wanting to get his services for years.
“One thing with Guinto is we wanted him for a long time. I think we’ve been asking NorthPort for three years na ata,” he said, as Guinto became a Batang Pier in 2017 after being part of a multi-team trade.
The Elasto Painters, though, had to give up young guns Sidney Onwubere and Clint Doliguez to get the 29-year-old Fil-Australian. And Garcia admitted that it was tough to let go of both, especially Onwubere.
The Emilio Aguinaldo College product had a breakthrough showing in the bubble with 5.8 points and 3.4 rebounds in 15 minutes, including a 16-point performance versus Alaska in a losing effort in the eliminations.
“The only thing that’s hard as a coach is like, Sidney played a good conference. We were getting him to develop to what we wanted,” said Garcia, as Rain or Shine got Onwubere via trade in 2018 centered around Jericho Cruz.
But as difficult as it was, the 45-year-old said that it is all part of basketball. “Masakit sila mawala, pero it’s part of the job,” he said.
“It’s a decision we have to make. We have to fill up a hole we needed, ‘yung rebounding.”
He then justified the move further, saying that Guinto’s addition to their frontline would be beneficial especially next season, as reigning six-time MVP June Mar Fajardo is expected to return from a leg injury.
The San Miguel main man skipped the bubble to fully focus on recovering from the injury he suffered during a Beermen practice early last year.
“June Mar’s gonna be coming back anyway, so a big guy like Guinto who’s a banger, who can defend, who can shoot those perimeters, he’s not a loss.”