Yeng Guiao said the energy brought by new import Mo Charlo was one of the reasons why Rain or Shine was able to complete its fightback from 19 points to beat powerhouse San Miguel Beer, 108-105 in their Oppo-PBA Commissioner’s Cup match Friday night.
Coming in as a replacement for the ineffective Antoine Wright, Charlo made his presence felt right in his PBA debut after finishing with 35 points, built around 6-of-8 three-pointers to carry the Elasto Painters to their 2nd straight victory this conference.
“We got the import we needed,” said Guiao, whose team got a big break when San Miguel center June Mar Fajardo left the game midway in the 2nd quarter due to a right knee injury.
“He’s not as big as the other imports but he’s a great defender. Plus he gives us a lot of range because he can shoot from outside,” he added.
Charlo, who is coming off a stint with Club Trouville Montevideo in Uruguay, had his hands full defending San Miguel sweet-shooting Tyler Wilkerson.
Wilkerson led the Beermen with 33 points, but most of his shots were challenged by the undersized Charlo.
“If you play a team like San Miguel, you have to defend. There’s no way you can beat San Miguel by not defending,” explained the outspoken Rain or Shine coach.
“I guess we just limited their options.”
The win pushed Rain or Shine to a 5-way logjam in the middle of the standings at 3-3, along with Blackwater, Mahindra, Barangay Ginebra and NLEX, which earlier in the day beat Meralco, 104-99. – By Richard Dy
Follow this writer on Twitter: @richava