Construction complete for Rain or Shine
August 5, 2012 by Sydrick Salazar
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This spot was first awarded to the Crispa Redmanizers in 1975. In almost a decade of action, the team won two grand slams and a bunch of accolades. In the 1985 season, Crispa ceded their spot to the Shell Azordin Bugbusters which eventually became the Shell Turbo Chargers we know and love. While it was easily for Crispa to win a title, it took Shell six years to win their first championship.
In 2006, Shell had to give up their franchise per orders of their international arm. Taking over from their ruins are the Welcoat Dragons. The popular PBL champions started their season with a bunch of rookies and a lot of PBA discards.
Welcoat had a hard time fitting in the PBA because wins were scarce and the players they help mold in the PBL were the ones tormenting them in the PBA. Welcoat even had a conference where they played “Heartbreaker” Alex Compton as their “other” import in order for them to have a fighting chance against other teams.
It was a futile ploy.
Fast forward to six years after they first played in the PBA…
When the B-Meg Llamados won the 2012 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Title against the Talk N Text Tropang Texters, they took out Donnell Harvey via foul trouble and Denzel Bowles gave the Llamados a lift by providing all the necessary moves to help them upstage the grand slam hunting-TNT.
It was the same formula employed by the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters when they finally won their first-ever PBA title against the Llamados.
In a physical series that saw a lot of aching bodies, a destroyed Tim Cone monobloc, and a lot of curses, the PBA’s youngest unit with zero championship experience to show gave the championship-savvy Llamados something to dread about.
First of all, I pity everyone who thought Paul Lee is the backbone of the ROS franchise. I really do. Yeng Guiao hates pa-superstar players and he would fight to the death with even five point guards playing the center position. However you also need to involve Lee for what they got this season. Five seasons ago, the duo of Gabe Norwood and Solomon Mercado launched the squad from cellar dwellers to pests for title-hungry squads. At the start of the 2011-12 season though, the entry of Paul Lee gave the Rain or Shine the title boost.
I must commend Jeff Chan and Gabe Norwood for effectively helping Jamelle Cornley in the scoring column. I thought both players bounced back from subpar offensive nights which helped the team seal the deal. Jamelle Cornley is amazing as the team’s driving force while Jireh Ibanes, Jervy Cruz, and Beau Belga should be commended as well. Other players who made significant contributions are JR Quinahan, Ryan Arana, Ronjay Buenafe, and TY Tang.
And yeah, it’s okay for Cornley to say “fuck games five and six” because he was so ecstatic on the win. The guy fought cramps and wobbled with one good leg as he took the game-changing rebound that destroyed the Llamados.
I know Jeff Chan was adjudged as the Finals MVP and I respect this especially with his contributions in Game 7 but you have to give Yeng Guiao A LOT OF CREDIT. Guiao gave the team his “Red Bull” identity and it gave the squad a much needed swagger boost. Every player in Guiao’s collection of ragtag employees wanted to tell the other teams that they should have big salaries, they should have endorsement deals, and they should have TV appearances. B-Meg had the triumvirate of James Yap, Peter June Simon, and Marc Pingris to help Marqus Blakely but it would have been better if they also had Joe Devance and JC Intal in their grasps.
And by the way, I think James Yap should be the Finals MVP. I know this is impossible considering that his team lost but the power of Blakely was inconsistent in this series and Big Game James is the only guiding light for the Llamados (save for a game where he hit just seven points).
They played as a team and won as a team… and congratulations for the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters for finally fulfilling their six-year dream.
And as to quote Jireh Ibanes, the only original member left from the 2006 squad…
“Nakaka-adik ang championship!”
I bet he wants more.
Just like Shell, the team waited six years for their first championship. The difference between the two teams though is that Shell had two prior trips to the finals before winning it. Rain or Shine winning the big title in their first try is awesome.