MANILA, Philippines – The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters improved their record in the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup to an even 2-2 by beating Phoenix Pulse on Sunday, but head coach Caloy Garcia was far from impressed with how they performed.
Import Denzel Bowles was Rain or Shine's pillar of strength, as he scored 16 points in the fourth quarter to spark the Elasto Painters' breakaway. Bowles finished with 28 points and 14 rebounds in what he later said was a "vintage" performance.
After the game, however, Garcia admitted that he was not particularly pleased with the way the Elasto Painters played.
"We looked bad," he said bluntly. "Technically I felt that we didn't deserve this win because, like I said, we looked bad."
Garcia credited Bowles for lifting the E-Painters to victory, but also stressed that the team as a whole could have performed a lot better – especially as they were coming off a big win over Barangay Ginebra.
Rain or Shine routed the defending champions, 104-81, last Friday, thanks to a 30-point explosion from Rey Nambatac, and a 25-point, 17-rebound outing from Bowles.
"It's kind of frustrating because we could have played a lot better, especially coming off a win against Ginebra. Medyo nakaka-frustrate lang 'yung turnovers namin," said Garcia.
"I feel like for professional players, we shouldn't be turning the ball over like that," added the coach, as Rain or Shine committed 22 turnovers that led to 25 points for Phoenix.
Rookie Javee Mocon, who had 15 points and 10 boards in the win, acknowledged that they got away with an "ugly win."
"Ugly win siya eh. Sobrang daming turnovers," he said. "Malaki sana 'yung lamang namin… 'Yung mga fastbreak namin, mga little things na 'yun, we have to work on that."
For Garcia, the result cannot overshadow the reality of their situation.
"We'll take the win," he said, "but I think we'll have to work harder on our execution."
"We were lucky that we were able to get this win. Now we just have to move forward and try to get more wins to try to make it to the next round," he also said.
Rain or Shine still has plenty of tough games coming up, as they have yet to face Alaska, TNT, San Miguel, and Magnolia. But Garcia pointed out that every team is a threat, especially in an import-laced conference.
"It's gonna be tough because all the teams right now, if you look at the imports, everybody's good. All the teams are getting better. I just hope we can pick up consistently in winning," he said.
Rain or Shine's next game is not until June 19, when they take on NorthPort at the Mall of Asia Arena.
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