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The Rain or Shine way


They’re hoping to build on that young core anew and keep that trend in the years to come.


At a time when teams owned by giant conglomerates like San Miguel Corporation and MVP Group dominate the Philippine Basketball Association, mid-level and independent companies find it a lot more challenging to win a championship.

When was the last time an independent team won a PBA crown?

That was eight years ago when Rain or Shine won the Commissioner’s Cup title, breaking the stranglehold of companies who own multiple titles in the PBA.

Knowing that they wouldn’t be able to compete by getting marquee players from the free agent market, the Elasto Painters used the Rookie Draft as a way of tinkering their roster.

Through the years, the Elasto Painters were able to secure multiple first-round picks from the time when seven-time champion coach Yeng Guiao first handled the squad in 2011.

Beginning 2013 until now, the Elasto Painters have two or more first-round draft picks and exercised their rights to secure those players on Draft Day.

Here are the players that the Elasto Painters have selected in the first round from 2013 to present:

2013: Raymond Almazan (No. 3) and Alex Nuyles (No. 9) — In need of a big man, the Elasto Painters drafted the 6-foot-8 center out of Letran to shore up its frontcourt and provide the help needed by the pair of Beau Belga and JR Quiñahan.

2014: Kevin Alas (No. 2) and Jericho Cruz (No. 9) — As Rain or Shine prepares for the possible departure of Paul Lee, who was reportedly being wooed by multiple teams, the Elasto Painters drafted Alas, but later on shipped him to NLEX and wound up with the Road Warriors’ sister team TNT. Cruz, meanwhile, added depth to the guard-heavy roster of the team.

2015: Mav Ahanmisi (No. 3) and Josan Nimes (No. 10) — The Elasto Painters had an opportunity of getting Minnesota Gopher guard Ahanmisi and paired him with fellow US NCAA Division 1 player Gabe Norwood of George Mason University.

2016: Mike Tolomia (Special Draft) — With a lean draft cast in 2016, the PBA and the Samahang Basketbol ng Piipinas opted to hold a special draft and that was the only time the Elasto Painters were able to get a player in Mike Tolomia. The team passed on getting players in the second and third round.

2017: Rey Nambatac (No. 7) — The Elasto Painters started the post-Guiao era by drafting Nambatac, who would turn out to be the future of the franchise.

2018: Javee Mocon (No. 6) and Jayjay Alejandro (No. 8) — The entry of Mocon would help bolster the Elasto Painters’ wing rotation and for about two seasons, he and Nambatac would form a deadly pair for the Elasto Painters.

2019: Mike Nieto (Special Draft), Adrian Wong (No. 5), Clint Doliguez (No. 6), and Prince Rivero (No. 7) — With another lean cast, the PBA and the SBP came up with another special draft and the Elasto Painters made the most out of the situation nabbing four players from that Draft Class.

2020: Leonard Santillan (No. 5) — Rain or Shine selected the best available twinner, who can play both forward spots in Santillan. It, however, tinkered its roster by picking up three  more players in the second round in Franky Johnson (No. 17), Anton Asistio (No. 22) and Andrei Caracut (No. 23) and majority of them are now composing the young core of the Elasto Painters.

2021-2022: Gian Mamuyac (No. 5) and Shaun Ildefonso (No. 10) — Mamuyac was the best two-way player selected in that draft cast and remains to be an important piece of the Elasto Painters’ current roster.

2022-2023: Luis Villegas (No. 3), Keith Datu (No. 4) — With Guiao returning to the franchise, the Elasto Painters felt the good time to bolster their front court and they acquired Villegas and Datu, and another big man in Henry Galinato (No.15), who was shipped to TNT for a future first round pick. The team also added fearless guard Adrian Nocum, who also proved to be essential in the team’s campaign in the just-concluded Commissioner’s Cup.

With Villegas expected to finally play a few weeks after the opening of the Philippine Cup on  28 February, sky’s the limit for the Elasto Painters squad that won six in a row in the recent import-laden conference to crack the playoffs.

They’re hoping to build on that young core anew and keep that trend in the years to come.

This is Rain or Shine’s way of staying competitive.

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