Rain or Shine drops opening game against Chinese-Taipei in 2023 Jones Cup

Ange Kouame’s efforts weren’t enough to lead Rain or Shine against Chinese-Taipei (Jones Cup photo via tiebreakertimes.com)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The Rain or Shine Elastopainters failed to start strong in their bid of a Jones Cup championship title after getting slammed by Chinese-Taipei in their opening game, 79-98, last August 12, 2023, held at the Heping Basketball Gym.

Rain or Shine’s shooting woes in the first half became the biggest factor in the huge loss which allowed Chinese-Taipei to capitalize on their cold shooting night.

Chinese-Taipei quickly asserted their mastery in the first quarter and quickly clinched a commanding 40-23 advantage.

It was an unfortunate opening frame for the Filipino representatives as they only managed to watch Chinese-Taipei sink most of their attempts to hit the 40-mark in just a single quarter.

“‘Yung first quarter masama e. We gave up 40 points in the first quarter, from there ‘di na tayo nakabawi,” said Rain or Shine’s head coach Yeng Guiao after the loss.

Guiao and his squad then struggled to get back into the ball game after the 17-point hole and could only watch the hosts pick them apart with their accurate pick-and-roll plays.

Former Ateneo Blue Eagles standout and NCAA champion Ange Kouame tried his best to wake up Rain or Shine after putting up 15 points and 16 rebounds but the Chinese-Taipei assault was just too much.

Andrei Caracut, one of the youngest scorers in the team, balled out for the Elastopainters despite the loss and dropped 18 big points in front of a hostile crowd.

Rey Nambatac joined Caracut as the only locals who produced double-digit scoring with 11 markers while reinforcement Nick Evans chipped in 14 points and 12 rebounds.

“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,” added Guiao.