MANILA, Philippines–With Jeff Chan and Paul Lee in a slump, Ryan Araña evolution into a more complete player has somehow filled the void.
Araña has been Rain or Shine’s do-it all player in the semifinals, helping his team to gain a 3-2 lead over San Mig Coffee.
“He’s the kind of player who doesn’t complain about his playing time or the kind of role you want him to play and that makes him very welcome in our organization,” said ROS head coach Yeng Guiao of Araña, the Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of Week (December 24-30).
“He has been known to be a scorer in his amateur days but here in the pros he’s been doing a bit of everything, especially on defense,” added Guiao. “Iyung puntos darating at darating sa kanya iyon pero he’s now priding himself more on making the needed stops.”
Araña, the 12th overall pick in the 2007 PBA Draft, provided the scoring punch, that usually comes from either Chan or Lee, in the Elasto Painters back-to-back wins that put them to within a win from a second straight Finals appearance.
The former De La Salle standout shot nine of his 13 points in the third period of Game 4 that helped his team build a commanding 54-36 advantage en route to an 83-74 win last Thursday.
That scoring burst though, was just a follow up to Araña’s Christmas Day effort when he knocked in all of his eight points in the second quarter, where Rain or Shine led 51-32 at halftime and never looked back for a 98-72 holiday whipping in Game 3.
Not to mention, Araña also had success in holding down the Mixers scorers James Yap and PJ Simon at times.
The lefty guard however, hit a bump last Saturday in Game 5 as he went scoreless in limited minutes but despite it, Guiao remains confident his ward will bounce back.
“He doesn’t take too many days off,” said Guiao.