Throwback Thursday became Wayback Wednesday for the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, but who can blame them when it comes with a victory.

In jerseys that paid tribute to their days as the Welcoat Dragons, the Elasto Painters got their best win of the 2024 Honda PBA Philippine Cup thus far through a balanced effort that saw 10 players see at least 10 minutes of action. Beau Belga turned back the clock with his triple-double of 25 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists, while four other Rain or Shine players scored at least 10 points.


Of course, the victory came not just because of a change in clothes, but you can’t blame the Elasto Painters for trying. The 6-5 win-loss record and the quarterfinal appearance in the 2023-2024 PBA Commissioner’s Cup overshadowed an 0-5 start that spelled doom for Rain or Shine.

It wasn’t an ideal ending, despite the turnaround. So, in the Philippine Cup, they decided to go back to their roots.

Yes, the Welcoat jerseys were the obvious sign, but the Elasto Painters have gone back to being the feisty and physical bunch they were known for. Rebounding is not for the faint-hearted and the fact that Rain or Shine is trails only the San Miguel Beermen in defensive rebounds per game (36.8) and is third-best team in the conference in rebounds per game (46.8) is a testament to how they’ve been difficult to battle with on the boards. 

The Elasto Painters of old had shotmakers in Paul Lee and Jeff Chan, but now, Andrei Caracut and Santi Santillan are part of the new blood taking the lead for the team offensively. On the whole though, Rain or Shine is second in the All-Filipino Conference in assists with 24.5 per game and that has allowed them to convert on 56 percent of their shots inside, good for second in the 2024 Philippine Cup. It can be said that anyone can step up for the Elasto Painters, but Rain or Shine would rather take the view that they are stronger together than as individuals.

Despite all of these numbers, the Elasto Painters are still at 2-4. There seems to be a disconnect between their production and the results, but with two straight victories, perhaps they are turning a corner. It doesn’t matter if their wins came against teams at the bottom of the standings; a win is a win after all. One has to hope, though, that this streak won’t be too little and too late for Rain or Shine and to avert that they’ll need good health and consistent play especially against stronger competition.

The Rain or Shine Elasto Painters bringing back the Welcoat Dragons jerseys was a nice gimmick, but it was a sign of what the Elasto Painters may need to do to become a contender once again: return to their roots. Viewed as one of the PBA’s independent teams, there are those who continue to root for the Elasto Painters’ success, and while a championship may not be in the cards at the moment, the building blocks have been evident in this current two-game winning streak.