No brotherly love as Black, Guiao figure in verbal tussle

Rey Joble

Posted at Jun 26 2022 11:29 AM | Updated as of Jun 26 2022 11:34 AM

Things got heated between Black and Guiao, but at the end of the day it’s just part of the game. PBA Media Bureau
Things got heated between Black and Guiao, but at the end of the day it’s just part of the game. PBA Media Bureau

When Yeng Guiao joined the PBA coaching fraternity in 1990, Norman Black was the benchmark of success.

Black, then coach of San Miguel Beer, won the PBA grand slam a year earlier, so young coaches such as Guiao were one of those aspirants that one day they will be able to savor some measure of success.

From thereon, these coaches would figure in many confrontations, be it a regular game, the playoffs or the finals and some games were filled with emotions as both of them wanted to win.

On Saturday at Ynares Center when their teams NLEX and Meralco – two teams under the MVP Group of Companies – clashed, Guiao, general manager and head coach of the Road Warriors, and Black, bench tactician of the Bolts, figured in a verbal exchange when Black’s son, Aaron, gave an extra motion and hit Mike Miranda.

The elder Black’s initial reaction was to protect his son, when things were about to get out of control as the younger Black visibly caught the ire of Guiao during the incident.

Then, the two coaches took centerstage and exchanged “not so pleasant words.”

“I feel it’s not necessary to hit (Miranda), then may isa pang play naka-mask na nga si Kevin dahil may fracture ’yung ilong pero parang sinadya ni Cliff Hodge,” Guiao said.

“So cheap shot ’yun. Pero kasama ’yun sa emotions. Naiintindihan rin namin ’yun. Gusto nilang manalo, gusto rin naming manalo.”

“Hindi ko puwede sabihin eh, kung ano yung sinabi ko sa kanya,” Guiao added. “Normal naman sa amin ni Coach Norman ’yun. Coach Norman and I go way, way back. We had skirmishes. But after the game, we’re just trying to do our job. It’s an emotional game.

“The emotions with Coach Norman, he knows me and I know him. He’s been able to tolerate some of my antics. After the game, that’s all over. Pinagpapasensyahan niya lang talaga ako. Kaya OK lang ’yun. That’s part of the game.”

Guiao has been known as a coach who would use whatever psychological edge he could gain in every game. He doesn’t want to see his players socializing with opposing players during the game.

There was one tuneup game between NLEX and Gilas Pilipinas, which was then preparing for the Southeast Asian Games and David Murrell, who was still playing for the Road Warriors was seen by his coach chit-chatting with national team prospect Caelum Harris while the game was ongoing.

“Dave, don’t fu**ing socialize with them,” Guiao shouted.

The veteran mentor also doesn’t want to see his player going to another player who was fallen down, helping him out or checking out on him if he’s OK.

Guiao gave his rationale about this, saying: “If you do that, you’re going to lose your edge against your opponent. As much as possible, I don’t want to see my player picking up an opponent when he’s down.”

Such was the case when his prized guard Kevin Alas was seen checking out on one Meralco player, who got hurt and was lying down on the floor. He was immediately called by Guiao to get out of the way.

Later during the game, it was Alas’ turn to get emotional – against his former amateur teammate Cliff Hodge.

Sporting a mask to protect his fractured nasal bone, Alas drove hard to the basket and was hit hard by Hodge close to the injured area.

Alas, who was previously feted the Sportsmanship of the Year by the PBA, became confrontational as he reacted on Hodge’s defensive play.

Hodge was called for a Flagrant Foul Penalty 1 and had to sit on the bench for three minutes.

But when the smoke cleared, when the battle was over, these cage warriors exchanged pleasantries. Guiao and Black gave each other a fist bump and the grand slam mentor even gave his counterpart a pat on the shoulder. Alas hugged Hodge, who played with the second generation cager when they were together at NLEX when the team was still competing in the D-League. 

“Sabi niya kasi sa akin, it was a basketball play daw. But I guess I’m at fault rin for reacting. Lahat naman kami dito nagbabanggaan, natatamaan. I apologized to him naman after for reacting. Sinadya man niya or hindi, I still don’t have the right to react that way. Praise God, nanalo kami. I even hugged him after the game,” Alas added.