Yeng Guiao, the beloved coach of the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, had returned to the team he led to winning two championships.
Rain or Shine is the last independent team to win a PBA title and that happened in the 2016 Commissioner’s Cup under the tutelage of Guiao. He also guided the squad to its first ever championship in the 2012 Governors’ Cup.
While Guiao was proud of their past achievements, he believes that it’s now time to rewrite history.
“We cannot dwell on past glory,” Guiao told ABS-CBN News in a telephone interview. “It’s time to rewrite history, but we know it’s going to take some time and there will be big challenges ahead of us.”
After becoming the last independent team to win a championship, teams from San Miguel Corporation had since then dominated the PBA, winning 13 of the last 14 conferences.
The TNT Tropang Giga were able to sneak their way to win the Philippine Cup last year, but fell short of defending the crown and lost to the Beermen in seven games just recently.
Guiao coached the NLEX Road Warriors, from 2017 up to the Philippine Cup this season, but couldn’t replicate the same success he had when he was coaching the Elasto Painters.
In 15 conferences coaching Rain or Shine, he won two championships and six finals appearances. He had a string of 12 straight playoff appearances and only got eliminated two times during his tenure as coach.
Now back as coach of Rain or Shine, Guiao takes pride of coaching one of the few independent squads.
With Alaska gone following the sale of the franchise to Converege late last season, many basketball fans believe that Rain or Shine has become the new alphamale among the remaining independent teams and Guiao had taken over the previous role of then Alaska owner Wilfred Uytengsu as someone who is not afraid to speak his mind.
“I take pride of coaching an independent team and it gives you that sort of motivation and the challenge to compete against the giant companies that own multiple teams,” said Guiao. “Alam namin, agrabyado kami sa suwelduhan, so there’s always that disadvantage of getting good and quality players.”
“Para sa akin, parang ang feeling ko nga ngayon, mag-semis ka lang para ka nang nag-champion dahil yung malalakas, lalong lumalakas.”
But Guiao is ready to embrace the new challenge, although he wants the team owners to manage their expectations in their first few conferences.
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