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Rain or Shine mulling another import change amid four-game slide

Replacing its import for the second time in the PBA Governors' Cup might be the solution that Rain or Shine will seek as it takes a 10-day break before their next game on October 23.

Coach Caloy Garcia said the team will be looking at a shortlist after Kayel Locke, who was brought in to replace Joel Wright, failed to impress.

"We have 10 days before our next game. If we're going to make a change, it should be now," he said. "We're actually gonna look right now at the names given to us -- even the past imports who played with us, whoever's available. Most probably, whoever's the closest one [will be picked]."

Locke failed to make a good case for himself on Sunday, when the team fell short against the Alaska Aces who snapped a five-game drought. Locke was a team-worst minus-14 despite being the lone player in double figures (25 points on 10-for-23 shooting).

"The problem for today, I think, was communication. Lots of lapses that happened. I even asked the import, 'Do you know what we were doing?' and he was confused," the coach bared.

Garcia even noted how the team's overall game dropped once Locke came in at 5:49 left in the fourth quarter, where Rain or Shine trailed just 66-63 in the middle of a comeback from 10 down against the Aces.

"I told them when you're playing inside the court, you have to communicate with each other," said Garcia. "When we were back in the game, we went with an all-local lineup. When he came in, our pace became different."

After going 0-3 with Locke (22.3 points on 40.3 percent shooting, 9.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists), the coach said Rain or Shine might eye a more imposing presence in the paint.

"I think we need more of an import who can play on the inside because our guards aren't getting their touches, and we know our team's strength is supposed to be at the guard spot. Rey (Nambatac), Javee (Mocon), they have to get their scores up," explained Garcia.

Nothing is set in stone, though, which is why the team will take this lengthy break to come up with a decision for a late playoff push.

"I think now we have to think more about what we can do in these last five games, if we have to change or stick with the same import. I think the locals aren't playing the same way they were playing in the last two conferences. We just have to review the film and watch what happened. But technically, we need more from the import," he said.

"At the end of the day, we're still not out anyway," Garcia added. "Technically, we still have a chance. Management also wanted us in the last five games to give our best."