MANILA, Philippines – PBA Coach Yeng Guiao, the returning coach of Rain or Shine, has no intention of changing the team’s starting lineup any time soon, much less before the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
When questioned if he had plans to bring in former players from Rain or Shine or even from his most recent squad NLEX, Guiao replied with a firm no and stated that he is keeping the lineup intact in his return to the Elasto Painters.
Guiao stated, “I have no plans to do it.”
Guiao has rejoined Rain or Shine after a six-year hiatus, but she has taken over a squad that is in the midst of a rebuild after missing the conference quarterfinals the previous two years.
The only remaining members of Rain or Shine’s 2016 Commissioner’s Cup championship team are Beau Belga, Gabe Norwood, and Jewel Ponferada. Players like Paul Lee, JR Quinahan, Raymond Almazan, Jeff Chan, and even Jericho Cruz are now on new teams.
Guiao stated that he will continue to use the team’s existing roster, which is largely made up of new players, for the time being. Guiao acknowledged that it will take some time for the players to adjust to him as the team’s new coach.
“You can’t really rebuild unless you know the team inside out,” shares Coach Guiao. “I will not be able to do that in one day or one week or one month’s time. I think bago ka makapag-rebuild, kailangan mo muna makita lahat ng pwedeng gawin ng mga ito in a new system or in this context na sila sila magkakasama tapos iba na ‘yung coach.”
He continues saying, “You have to see kung magre-respond ba sila sa akin o hindi.”
(You can’t really rebuild unless you know the team inside out, I won’t be able to do that in one day or one week or one month’s time. I think before you can rebuild, you have to see everything they can do in a new system or in this context that they are together and then the coach is different.
You have to see if they will respond to me or not.)
When he was the coach of Rain or Shine, Belga, Norwood, and Ponferada provided experience, and Guiao said he likes the roster’s mix of young and experienced players.
“I think they’ve kept themselves in good shape,” says Guiao, talking about Belga, Norwood, and Ponferada. “Si Beau nga pumayat. Natuto rin siguro kay JR (Quinahan) ‘to. If you want to prolong your career, you have to be in the best shape that you can be. Si Gabe, same, pareho lang katawan niya and ‘yung athleticism niya. Jewel is the same pa rin. If these guys are in good shape and they have that wealth of knowledge and experience, may pag gamitan ‘yan at makakatulong sa amin.”
(I think they’ve kept themselves in good shape.
Beau lost weight. Probably also learned from JR (Quinahan). If you want to prolong your career, you have to be in the best shape that you can be. Gabe, the same, he has the same body and his athleticism. Jewel is still the same. If these guys are in good shape and they have that wealth of knowledge and experience, that will be used and will help us)
Rey Nambatac is the main offensive threat for Guiao, and he will remain in that position under the new head coach. Guiao, though, emphasized the critical contribution of the other guys to the offensive.
Finally, Coach Guiao says, “’Yung laro ni Rey, sakto sa sistema. I don’t see any problems. Siguro ang importante lang is we do not over depend on him. Kasi kailangan naming tulungan kasi naka-focus na ang depensa kay Rey everytime they play Rain or Shine. The others have to create other offensive threat para lumuwag naman ang sitwasyon ni Rey.”
(Rey’s game is right in the system. I don’t see any problems. Maybe the only important thing is that we do not over depend on him. Because we have to help because the defense is focused on Rey every time they play Rain or Shine. The others have to create other offensive threats to ease Rey’s situation.)