JERVY Cruz has turned Yeng Guiao from doubter to believer.
The hardworking Rain or Shine power forward has almost doubled his scoring and rebounding averages this season after delivering meager numbers in the past three years. Now his coach sees him as a different player.
"I know I can rely on him. I had my doubts before about him being effective in his position but now those doubts have ceased to exist," stated Guiao.
In a 116-101 victory over Barako Bull on Friday, the undersized forward led the Elasto Painters' charge with 23 points to better by one his previous career-best set October 20, when he also hit another milestone with 18 boards.
He earned the Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week honors for the period December 3 to 9, his second citation after being named top player for the period covering October 15-21.
"I'm not actually surprised about him reaping his second Player of the Week award. He's been working very hard and he's been very consistent," said Guiao.
"He's been steadily asserting himself as our best scoring big man, as of now. He also knows that his role in our team is to provide scoring when open, but really to defend and get those rebounds. Him having a good scoring night is a bonus," added Guiao.
The former University of Santo Tomas star has improved his conference averages to almost 12.0 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. Not bad at all for a man who has not recorded averages more than 6.7 points and 4.5 rebounds per game in his first three years as a pro.
The 6-4 Cruz beat out the likes of teammate Jonathan Uyloan, who scored a career-high 18 points in that Barako game, and Cyrus Baguio, Alaska's spearhead in a come-from-behind 79-71 victory over Petron Blaze last Wednesday.