Guiao upbeat on Painters' future
30 Jan 2011
Newly designated Rain Or Shine coach Yeng Guiao said the other day he's rebuilding the Elasto Painters with an eye to the future and the outlook is bright as the team isn't starting from scratch.
"I think we'll gel in time for the coming conference because we have a good foundation and materials plus the newcomers from the trade," said Guiao referring to the deal that brought in his former Air21 players Ronjay Buenafe, Ronnie Matias and Beau Belga while giving up Sol Mercado, Jay-R Reyes and Paolo Bugia.
Guiao said he's particularly excited about getting Air21's first round draft picks this year and 2013 in the swap. "We're hoping for a deep draft especially if some of the Smart Gilas players are released," he said. "A lot of quality players could be coming out for the draft and we want to be prepared. The next draft picks are the future of the league."
Guiao admitted that he would've preferred to hold on to Mercado and Reyes. "I think Jay-R would've gotten tougher under our system and Sol's an excellent player but we got what we wanted in the trade," said Guiao. "Ronnie is recovering from his (ACL) injury and won't be available until next conference. We've got some players like Ryan Arana who'll fit right into our system."
Guiao said he's fortunate that former coach Caloy Garcia is staying on with the staff.
"I was told Caloy asked management if I could be invited to take over and if I didn't accept, he would've continued as head coach,"
said Guiao. "It was during the recent holidays when I accidentally bumped into Mr. (Raymond) Yu at the EDSA Shangri-La Hotel. I was with my family at the coffee shop and Rain Or Shine happened to be holding its Christmas party. Mr. Yu asked about my contract which was expiring at the end of the year. Then, I became available and here I am. It's not a problem with Caloy. With Caloy, we don't have to start from scratch. He already knows the team, what it can do, what it can't do."
Guiao, 51, said he will rely on Garcia for the "institutional memory" of the team. "Things they have experienced when I wasn't there yet so I don't commit the same mistakes and learn from their experience," explained Guiao.
What makes Rain Or Shine unique in his basketball odyssey is its family orientation. "The owners (Yu and Terry Que) operate the team like a family," said Guiao. "It's a good feeling when the owners are sincerely concerned about every player, his life, his family."
Guiao began his PBA coaching career with RFM Swift in 1990, moved to Mobiline in 1994, switched to Red Bull in 2000 and joined Air21 in 2008. He has won five titles so far, two with Swift (1992, 1993) and three with Red Bull (2001, 2002, 2005-06). All Guiao's championships came with imports. In 1992, he took Swift to the Third Conference title with Tony Harris. In 1993, Guiao delivered another crown to Swift with Ronnie Thompkins. In 2001, he gave Red Bull its first crown with Tony Lang. In 2002, Red Bull got another trophy with Sean Lampley. And in 2005-06, James Penny was Guiao's import when Red Bull captured the Fiesta Conference title.
Guiao named Harris as the best import he's ever coached. "We had our differences but after all the shouting, we were friends and besides, he was such a great player on the floor," said Guiao. "Julius Nwosu was another top import I coached."
Now, Guiao has Hassan Adams playing for Rain Or Shine and he's looking forward to a competitive second conference which opens Feb. 18. His arrival at Rain Or Shine also signals a reunion with former Red Bull consultant Andy Jao who's a whiz at recruiting imports.
Adams, 26, has played for the New Jersey Nets and Toronto Raptors in the NBA, a testament to his skills. He polished his skills in four years with the University of Arizona varsity, averaging in double figure points in three seasons, and was picked on the second round by the Nets in the 2006 draft. Adams has seen action as an import in Italy and Serbia.
At Arizona, Adams played on four varsity teams that won at least 20 games a season. In 2004-05, he teamed with Channing Frye to power Arizona to a 30-7 overall record and a spot in the NCAA Elite Eight. As a senior the next year, Adams averaged 17.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 2.6 steals and 33.3 minutes to finish his career in the top 10 of eight statistical categories, including second in steals with 238. Adams also became the first player in Pac-10 history to pile up 1,800 points, 700 rebounds and 200 steals. Adams played the three and four positions with the Wildcats varsity.
Guiao said teams can't afford to make a mistake in signing up an import in the second conference which features only a single round-robin in the eliminations. He said Adams is a good fit for the Elasto Painters. - www.philstar.com