LIKE what they say, you can’t win ‘em all.
Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao is sticking to the positives after losing in the congressional race in first district of Pampanga, saying it will give him more time to focus on his PBA team especially in the ongoing Commissioner’s Cup Finals against Alaska.
Based on the latest unofficial Comelec count, Guiao was down by more than 33,000 votes to Carmelo 'Jon Jon' Lazatin, scion of one of Pampanga's most influential political clans, with almost 100 percent of the elections returns counted.
“Hindi naman siya extra motivation. I just have more time. I’m relieved,” Guiao said after practice, a day after the elections. “You’re able to focus more. You have to move on and leave the negative things behind.”
“Mag-shi-shift ka lang naman ng focus mo eh,” he added. “In the playoffs, the players and coaching staff have been covering up for me, so now it’s my time to work full time.”
The Elasto Painters are poised to win only the second league championship in franchise history as they’re ahead by two games and can move on the cusp with a win in Game Three.
“Yun nga yung wish ko: double victory sana,” Guiao said with a smile. “Pero single victory, okay na rin.”
E-Painters star Paul Lee is extra motivated to win the crown for his coach.
“Manalo o matalo naman siya sa election, kailangan namin ipanalo ‘to,” he said. “Syempre, trabaho namin ‘to.”
“But for me, siguro dagdag sa amin na natalo si coach sa election. dapat kuhain namin para sa kanya,” he added. “And, syempre, para na rin sa buong team kasi matagal na rin yung last championship namin. ito na yung pinakamagandang chance namin.”
Still, a double celebration would’ve been sweeter.
“Sa next three years, walang absent yan dito,” Lee said in jest, referring to the time before Guiao can run for representative again.
But Guiao, who’s set to return as a private citizen anew for the first time in 15 years, took it in stride.
“Hindi rin eh (masakit). Actually, you feel relieved of the responsibilities,” the 57-year-old public servant said. “Kasi kung pulitiko ka, you’re trying to make everybody happy all the time, which is almost impossible.”
“So for once in fifteen years, you’ll get free from that.”
But he was quick to add that there’s also pressure and stress on the basketball court.
“It’s not really a sanctuary, but it’s a place where you feel comfortable, you feel you control your surroundings more than in politics,” he said. “It’s so natural and so enjoyable even if it’s stressful.”
“More time for myself, the family, some small business interests, and of course, yung coaching job natin,” he added.
Still, Guiao can push his advocacies, recently filing a petition for the Supreme Court to mandate Pagcor and PCSO to abide by the law and remit five percent of their gross income to the Philippine Sports Commission.
“We’re helping out in different ways,” he said. “Those are the things you can do na hindi mo naman kailangan nasa position ka. We will just keep our commitment to those advocacies.”