PBA: Rain or Shine continues winning streak with victory over NLEX
Keith Datu assured Friday that his return to Rain or Shine after an absence that seemed mysterious is going to be long-term.
“I fully anticipate playing the next upcoming games,” Datu said after helping the Elasto Painters defeat the NLEX Road Warriors, 113-101, for their second straight win following a 0-5 start in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner’s Cup.
Datu contributed 11 points including three triples, five rebounds, and four blocks in almost 23 minutes at Philsports Arena in Pasig City, showing what the Elasto Painters missed during his four-game absence.
It turned out that Datu was hospitalized due to pneumonia, which came after he had recovered from the flu and after he had already taken part in Rain or Shine practices.
“It was bad enough to the point that I needed to be in the hospital. But I’m grateful that I’m much better now,” said Datu, who added that he’s still trying to catch his breath with his lungs far from being at full strength.
Hanging in there
Coach Yeng Guiao had frequently expressed puzzlement at Datu’s predicament as this win put his Painters in contention for at least the lower spots in the quarterfinals.
“We needed to offer chickens and pigs as sacrifice for him to play,” Guiao joked in the vernacular before giving a serious outlook on Datu in terms of his health and his importance in the Rain or Shine rotation.
“I think he’s okay. It’s a very rare (medical) situation, but we hope that it won’t happen again,” Guiao said. “This is what we missed during those games that he was out because we’re now seeing what he can do on the court.
“And that excites us because we have a big man who suits well with our style of play. He can shoot threes, he can post up and he’s aggressive. So we can’t ask (for anything) anymore for a big man,” added Guiao.
Rain or Shine also drew a big performance from import Demetrius Treadwell, who had 21 points and 18 rebounds, proving that he’s a much better two-way player than predecessor Dajuan Summers.
Rey Nambatac also played a key role when Rain or Shine pulled away in the fourth. He had 12 points, but being on the floor during the critical stretch should give the lefty guard some confidence after inconsistent minutes this conference.