29 August 2014

Elastopainter's Insurance Picks

Rain Picks Alas
The saga of Paul Lee continues as there are still no clear directions on where the Rain or Shine Elastopainters star is headed after his contract expires on 30 August 2014.

"Hindi kami kikilos dito ng hindi maliwanag ang lahat. Hawak namin ang rights kay Paul and i-e-exercise namin ang rights namin. Hindi naming i-te-trade si Paul ng basta-basta na lang," Elastopainters coach Yeng Guiao said in one Spin.ph article.

Asked if Rain or Shine is willing to sit out Lee if the impasse drags on, the six-time champion coach said he doesn't expect the situation to reach that point.

"Hindi naman dapat na mangyari yun na umabot pa na mag-sit out siya. Mabait na bata si Paul. Siguro 'pag naliwanagan na siya at may iba pang naka-usap, baka magbago ang isip," he added.

However, in case the deal with Lee doesn’t pan out, the Elastopainters are prepared.

During the 2014 Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Rookie Draft, the team picked Kevin Alas at number two and Jericho Cruz as the ninth pick. They also added Kevin Espinosa and Mike Gamboa among their pool of backcourt options, although Espinosa and Gamboa may not be likely signed.

The choice of Alas was a pragmatic move brought about by Paul Lee’s preference to be traded. While Alas is no Lee, he brings in an offensive dimension where he can score from both inside and outside.

The Gilas Pilipinas cadet is also one of the most experienced among the draft hopefuls. His exposure to the international game is impressive – he’s played in several tournaments including the recently-concluded FIBA Asia Cup, last year’s Southeast Asian Games and even a smaller tilt in Hong Kong where he was named MVP despite teaming up with PBA players.

The 6-foot-tall point guard will be a big contributor to the Elastopainters. He’s a natural scorer, averaging over 20 points in his final year in the NCAA, but also possesses excellent playmaking and ball-handling abilities. The former Letran Knight will also bring plenty of confidence, having already been exposed to top-flight competition.

Cruz’s drafting came also as a surprise but there’s no denying Cruz’s physical ways would be ideal to the Guaio system. And with Alex Nuyles moving to Blackwater, his former teammate at Adamson may have a chance to take over his role essayed last season. During his time with Adamson, he was the top offensive weapon of the team.

Cruz was also part of the 2013 Philippine team to the Southeast Asian Games that was composed of some of the best collegiate and amateur players in the country.

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