Painters have gem of a rookie, but NBA vet just not cutting it
With dejection written all over his face, Rain or Shine guard Andrei Caracut struggled to celebrate his career-best scoring performance against defending champion Barangay Ginebra recently.
“It’s tough to process because we lost,” he said in Filipino following a 107-102 defeat at Smart Araneta Coliseum. “But I guess that’s one positive thing going for me.”
Caracut erupted for 32 points, the first player selected late in the second round of the PBA Rookie Draft to score that many since NorthPort’s Roi Sumang— selected 26th overall—six years ago.
Even making things harder for Caracut is the idea that the Elastopainters would have not been in this deep of a hole in the Commissioner’s Cup.
The blue-collar crew has dropped all four of its games thus far. Save for the clash with NorthPort, Caracut and his teammates have lost by a margin of just 3.6 points.
“We’ve had several narrow games. Five points, a point,” Caracut recalled with a deep sigh.
Rebounding is the main problem.
“We’re minus 15 rebounds and then minus 30 in points in the paint. We don’t have an inside presence defensively,” coach Yeng Guiao said.
“So if you’re negative in the points in the paint, that means your opponent is feasting inside. Where were your big men? Where is the import?”
Guiao believes that many of those issues can be resolved through more emphasis during practice. But he also feels that reeling in a fitting reinforcement is just as crucial.
DaJuan Summers has not been living up to Rain or Shine’s standards. In a tournament where imports easily tab twin digits in both scoring and rebounding, the former Detroit forward was only able to turn in his first double-double with 25 and 12 which came against Ginebra.
“We have our options lined up,” Guiao said when asked about possibly replacing Summers. “We just have to finalize it with the team owners. We’ll see if there will be changes by Wednesday.” INQ