Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao is firing up Steve Taylor Jr., wanting him to step up and inspire the local players in the ongoing Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup.
The outspoken Guiao admitted to Daily Tribune that Taylor is under the microscope as the Elasto Painters struggle in the early stretch of this midseason conference.
In fact, Taylor fired 16 points and 19 rebounds, but he failed to lead the Elasto Painters as they absorbed a sorry 83-92 loss to Phoenix in their previous game last Thursday.
In that game, only two other players apart from Taylor scored in double figures with rookie Gian Mamuyac firing 14 points and Rey Nambatac delivering 12 markers while the rest of the local players had a very forgettable night.
Guiao said the 29-year-old former National Basketball League campaigner, however, will still be evaluated when they battle erstwhile unbeaten Magnolia on Saturday at the Ynares Center.
Making the evaluation even more challenging is the fact that the Hotshots are coming off a tough 97-103 loss to Barangay Ginebra San Miguel last Sunday and are determined to capture a win to regain a share of the lead with guest team Bay Area.
“What we want from him is to at least avoid getting outplayed by Nick Rakocevic, who has been playing solid basketball,” Guiao said in a telephone conversation.
“At least if he cancels out his match up with the other import, it will give us a chance and allow our locals to do their part.”
Guiao said Taylor’s leadership should be felt, especially by the locals.
“I also talked to him about trying to inspire his teammates,” he said.
“When you say inspiring his teammates, it’s not just about the numbers, but also the intangibles. He should be the one inspiring the locals and not the other way around.”
With a 3-4 win-loss record, Rain or Shine will have to avoid losing back-to-back games to stay in the running for a playoff berth.
The Elasto Painters have not made it to the playoffs for two straight conferences under Thursday coach Chris Gavina, who packed his bags for the Taichung Suns in the T1 League in Taiwan.