By REYNALD MAGALLON
TAIPEI, Taiwan – Rain or Shine opened its Jones Cup campaign on the wrong foot, absorbing a 98-79 defeat at the hands of Chinese Taipei at the Taipei Heping Gymnasium here on Saturday Aug. 12.
The Elasto Painters started out flat and looked a step slower against the hosts with Senegalese-Taiwanese Mohammad Al Bachir Gadiaga and naturalized player William Artino setting the tone for the rout.
Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao felt that the sluggish start spelled doom for the Elasto Painters although he was not all too worried after they dropped the first game.
“‘Yung first quarter masama e. We gave up 40 points in the first quarter, from there ‘di na tayo nakabawi,” said Guiao.
“Part of the adjustment process siguro, may kaunting kaba pa meron pa at paninibago after that I think we can take away a lot of lesson from the first game,” he added.
Gadiaga and Artino combined for 17 of Chinese Taipei’s 40 points in the first quarter which obviously hurt the cause for the Elasto Painters.
The two carry most of the offense for the Taiwanese with Artino putting up 23 points and nine rebounds while Gadiaga added 22.
They were also amply supported by Chien Ting Lin who fired 16 points as Chinese Taipei took total control of the contest, even stretching the lead to 31, 77-46 midway through the third frame.
Ange Kouame paced the Elasto Painters with a double-double effort of 16 points and 15 rebounds but it didn’t help that the other ROS reinforcement in Nick Evans was held scoreless in the first half.
He did wake up in the second half to still finish with 14 points and 11 rebounds but came a little too late as the huge deficit proved to be already too big to overcome in the final frame.
Rain or Shine has the chance to bounce back and pick up its first win on Sunday when it takes on Chinese Taipei team B.
Easier said than done though with the crowd also expected to rally behind their second team which earlier dominated the U22 Japan team, 85-59.