Basketball

Six long years: Long wait worth it for Guiao, Rain or Shine

PBA/Nuki Sabio

Six years.

That’s how long Rain or Shine waited before its first PBA title. That’s how long it has been since Yeng Guiao’s last championship.

For the fiery coach and his underdog team, the long wait was worth it.

“Malaki na rin ang puhunan ng mga players, at matagal-tagal na rin akong hindi nananalo ng championship,” said Guiao. “Pero sulit yung pinuhunan namin. They waited six years to win the championship, while on the other hand, I waited six years to win another one. For me, it’s worth the wait.”

Guiao steered the Elasto Painters to the Governors’ Cup title by outlasting the B-MEG Llamados, 83-76, in Game Seven before a packed crowd of 21,853 at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

It was also Guiao’s sixth PBA title, who became only the fourth coach in league history to win a title with three different franchises, joining Baby Dalupan, Tommy Manotoc, and Chot Reyes in the elite group.

Psychological ploy

In Game Two, Guiao made a bold prediction that his team will win the series. After his team made good on his promise, he admitted that it was all a psychological ploy.

“Naglakas-loob lang ako, either mag-mukha akong tanga, o magmukha akong genius,” he said. The move inspired his players and became an edge for Rain or Shine.

“We didn’t see any advantage sa series against B-MEG. They have the size, the manpower, coached by a future Hall of Famer and they have more crowd support than us. The only advantage we got is the psychological game,” said Guiao.

“I think we got into their heads. I just rubbed it into (my players) and gave them confidence (that we can win the series). Nilaro lang namin sila. They’re not prepared for the physical game and even during the interviews we made them think of us.”

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