A day after mutually parting ways with NLEX, veteran mentor and seven-time PBA champion Yeng Guiao is now testing the market.
“Hindi ko naman istilo yung parang ipinipilit ko yung sarili ko sa isang team,” Guiao told ABS-CBN News. “It was only yesterday when we finalized our agreement to part ways, so I think the next 24 or 48 hours will give me time to figure out what my next moves are.”
“I’m willing to test the market if there will be offers elsewhere, kung wala naman, then OK lang.”
Guiao and NLEX mutually agreed to part ways, ending a six-year relationship.
Under his stewardship, the Road Warriors became consistent playoff performer and saw several players becoming a part of the Gilas Pilipinas team – Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Alas, Calvin Oftana and even Poy Erram, when he was playing for NLEX.
In 2016, Guiao was named general manager and head coach of the Road Warriors, a few months after leading the Rain Or Shine Elasto Painters to winning the 2016 Commissioner’s Cup.
Guiao said in a telephone interview that he hasn’t spoken to anyone from Rain Or Shine, but expressed his gratitude to the organization he led to two championships as the Elasto Painters hold the distinction of being the last independent squad to win a PBA title.
Even when he was already coaching the Road Warriors, Rain Or Shine still pursued Guiao to become the head coach of the Philippine team it backed in the 2018 Asian Games.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity and I really appreciate the gesture of Rain or Shine during the 2018 Asian Games even when I’m already committed to NLEX at that time,” said Guiao.
ABS-CBN News called up Yu, who is still currently in Singapore and asked him on the possibilities of their old mentor rejoining their squad. Curiously, Rain Or Shine was also able to ink a deal with Guiao in 2010 when the team owner was also in Singapore.
“We haven’t talked yet, since I am here in Singapore, but I’m open to sitting down with him as soon as I get home,” added Yu.
Rain Or Shine is currently being coached by Chris Gavina.
Even after Guiao left Rain Or Shine, the Elasto Painters were still doing some of the things the multi-titled mentor was able to build for the squad, running similar patterns in their plays when coach Caloy Garcia inherited the team all the way to the time when Gavina was already calling the shots.
It won’t be surprising if Guiao makes his return to the team he turned to becoming a consistent playoff performer and a two-time PBA champion.
For now, Guiao is free of commitment and awaits offer from other teams which want to secure his services.
Through the years, Guiao had opportunities coaching different squads – RFM, which carried brands like Pop Cola, Sarsi and Swift, to Pepsi Cola, to Red Bull/Barako Bull, Air 21/Burger King, Rain or Shine and NLEX.
He won championships coaching Swift (1992 Third Conference and 1993 Commissioner’s Cup), Red Bull (2001 and 2002 Commissioner’s Cup and 2006 Fiesta Conference), and Rain or Shine (2012 Governors’ Cup and 2016 Commissioner’s Cup).
The All-Filipino title is the only missing piece in Guiao’s already checkered career and that somewhat serves as a motivation for the 63-year-old mentor to continue coaching.