Painters locals pick up slack with foul-plagued Wright on bench
MANILA, Philippines—Rain or Shine reinforcement Joel Wright already had four fouls by halftime and it would’ve been understandable for him feel worried about his team when he had to be benched in the third quarter due to foul trouble.
But that wasn’t the case for Wright knowing the Elasto Painters are peppered with promising youngsters and steady role players.
Wright sat out the whole third quarter of the Painters’ encounter with upstart Columbian Dyip on Sunday night, confident his teammates will pick up the cudgels.
“I knew once I came here—I did my research on these guys. These guys play good,” he told reporters after Rain or Shine’s 96-90 bounce back win at the Big Dome.
“I already knew [they’re] fine,” the athletic import said. “These guys all work so hard so I was confident with [me being in] foul trouble.”
Rey Nambatac and Javee Mocon posted 17 and 10 points off the bench. Mocon teamed up with Mark Borboran to fill the scoring void left by Wright in the third frame to keep the hard-fighting Dyip from pulling away.
Rain or Shine’s new acquisition in Ping Exciminiano also had 10 points in the effort.
By the payoff period, it was Wright’s time to take over.
The American posted 10 points in the fourth—seven of which coming in the final minute.
“The nice thing about today was that the bench stepped up,” said Painters mentor Caloy Garcia. “Mark, Ed, Ping played great today.”
“They were able to step up and keep Columbian within arm’s reach. We actually even played good when (Wright) wasn’t in the court,” he added.
Garcia was pleased but admitted to being wary of his import’s temper.
“He has to learn how to preserve his fouls. It’s been two games that he’s been fouling. He has to learn how to control his emotions,” he said of Wright who chalked up a total of 30 points and 10 rebounds in the contest.
“He’s a good import, but still we want him to play longer minutes.”
Fortunately for Rain or Shine, Wright is self-aware.
“I’m a big emotional guy. I just got calm down a bit,” he said. “The more time my emotions are up, that’s when I get these little stupid fouls.”
“I got to stop putting my hand in the air. The refs are doing a great job. I just got to control my emotions and control the fouls.”