Ed Daquioag was undeniably a key contributor for Rain or Shine in the last PBA season as part of the Elasto Painters’ youth brigade that also features Rey Nambatac and Javee Mocon.
The presence of the former collegiate standouts was indeed big since they helped their squad reach the semifinals of the Philippine Cup as well as the import-laden Commissioner’s Cup.
So it was surprising, to say the least, when the Elasto Painters parted ways with Daquioag last January 14. They traded him to the TNT KaTropa for future second round draft picks.
Coach Caloy Garcia explained the team’s decision to ship the third-year guard, though, saying that they would want to have “a different look to the team” as new pieces have arrived.
“The reason why we took Ed out is that most of our players… We have four players coming in — three in the same position — so we wanted a different look to the team,” he said.
The Elasto Painters were able to mine good talents in the 2019 Rookie Draft. Besides Gilas draftee Mike Nieto, they also got Adrian Wong, Clint Doliguez, Prince Rivero, and Vince Tolentino.
Wong, Doliguez, Rivero, and Tolentino — all of whom were winners in college — have all been signed just recently.
“Sayang kasi eh, medyo puro first-rounders mga ‘to eh,” Garcia said. “So given the chance, basically what we need from them is more of energy.
“So hopefully they give us that.”
Rain or Shine has gotten even younger with its new acquisitions, but Garcia is confident that his crew will remain competitive for the new season that starts on March 1.
“I think we will still be competitive. It shows in practice. We’ve been working hard, we’ve been competing,” he said.
“Alam naman natin na playing time is always an issue, so they have to work hard for it,” added the seasoned bench tactician.
“And as long as we keep being healthy, we will be okay.”
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