With big needs come big wishes.
In three conferences of the 47th season of the PBA, the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters only made it to the playoffs one time.
It was a short trip.
As the eighth seed in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, Rain or Shine bowed down in one game to guest team Bay Area Dragons. The Hong Kong-based squad eventually pushed the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel to seven games in the classic finals series before settling for the runner-up finish.
For ROS, it was a forgettable season. And coach Yeng Guiao is banking on the upcoming PBA Draft to retool their roster.
“We're looking at size," Guiao said in an article on the PBA website.
After letting go of reliable center Norbert Torres for the redemption-hungry forward Mac Belo, it’s easy to see why Coach Yeng wants size. Drafting for need and fit, however, has had its critics. Remember when the Portland Trailblazers went for Sam Bowie instead of Michael Jordan?
Guiao, a respected basketball mind, seems to be fully aware of the cons when drafting solely for need. It’s perhaps why he’s making a big ask from the basketball gods this time.
“Siguro 'yung the best talent available with the best size. Iyon ang priority namin sa [first round] picks namin," the two-time PBA Coach of the Year explained.
Rain or Shine owns the third and fourth overall picks in the draft that may welcome a pool that includes the likes of Justine Baltazar, Luis Villegas, and Kemark Carino. Nailing their selections has potential to turn the Elasto Painters’ fortunes around.
"If we can blend those talents with what we already have, malamang mabibigyan namin ng magandang laban 'yung mga established teams."
The big ask, however, doesn’t end there as the 64-year-old tactician also hopes to make a splash in the second round. Size remains a factor in their wishes.
"Maybe in the second round baka puwede kaming magpalaki sa guwardiya. Kasi mga guwardiya namin ngayon parehong maliliit, sina Andrei (Caracut) at Anton (Asistio)."
The draft is expected to happen in September, and as early as now, Rain or Shine fans should cross their fingers to tilt the odds in their favor.