THE Rain or Shine Elasto Painters are staring at a new beginning ahead of the Philippine Basketball Association’s next season.
After a stunning series of movements and transactions which took place within a week, the Elasto Painters, a team which just won the Commissioner’s Cup championship, are suddenly an overhauled squad with an unfamiliar composition.
Their longtime coach Yeng Guiao left for NLEX last week after negotiations for a contract renewal didn’t push through.
Following that, coach Caloy Garcia was reinstated as the head mentor for the team and that change was only the beginning.
Last Thursday, Rain or Shine shocked the league as it continued to make maneuvers.
It surprisingly dealt away its superstar Paul Lee, after also failing to come to terms on a new contract, to Star in exchange for two-time Most Valuable Player James Yap in one of the biggest trades in the PBA of all time.
On that same day, the Elasto Painters also moved JR Quinahan, who has been the team’s most consistent player all-season long, to GlobalPort in exchange for another veteran in Jay Washington.
If that’s not enough, Rain or Shine is also dealing with a contract dispute with two of its mainstays, Beau Belga as well as Gabe Norwood.
Belga and the Painters still can’t seem to finalize a new deal for the stocky big man. It will be known early next week if the team’s enforcer will be back in harness or not after the parties meet again.
Norwood is also still unsigned.
These movements definitely ended an era for Rain or Shine as those mentioned names, who are now in different teams, were key components in the team’s past two championships in the league.
Now, Rain or Shine is looking at a grand reunion of sorts with two of the franchise’s early players from the amateur ranks a decade ago.
Yap and Washington aren’t exactly new to the franchise. They played together to help Welcoat win several championships in the early 2000s in the old Philippine Basketball League.
In addition, Rain or Shine had another deal over the weekend, sending seldom-used Josan Nimes to Mahindra in exchange for a draft pick.