UNDER normal circumstances, Lora Gahol-Fonacier would be proudly wearing red and rooting for coach Yeng Guiao and his Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.
Only this time, his husband Larry is playing for the other side.
“If I can only cheer for both teams,” said the lovely wife of the Talk ‘N Text gunner minutes before Game Two of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals at the MOA Arena. “I like this team, too.”
Mrs. Fonacier’s attachment to Rain or Shine is understandable considering her high respect for Guiao, who she said gave the former Ateneo star his first big break in the pros with Red Bull.
Lora feels Fonacier, now among the finest gunners in the league, would not be where he is now if not for the trust Guiao had shown him during his early years in the pros.
“Whatever it is, I have so much respect for coach Yeng,” she told Spin.ph. “Because I really believe if Larry didn't start with coach Yeng Guiao, he probably won’t be where he is today.”
Lora said Guiao’s “tough love” and “carino brutal” had brought the best out of Fonacier, and there was no way Fonacier could have made that game-clinching shot late in Game One against the Painters if not for the mental toughness he had gained playing under Guiao.
“Yeng Guiao is tough love, definitely, cariño brutal, but you know that he only wants to get the best out of you,” Lora said.
“That Game One shot, kung hindi ka nagsimula kay Yeng Guiao, hindi mo magagawa yun kasi grabe talaga yung mental toughness,” she added.
The fulltime housewife’s fondness for Guiao and Rain or Shine is even shared by the couple’s three-year-old son, Liam.
“(I like) Jeff Chan and Gabe Norwood,” a playful Liam told Spin.ph. “(I like) Norwood when he dunks.”
Whatever happens in the series, Lora said it will be a win-win situation for her.
“This team (Rain or Shine) is the closest team we had to Red Bull,” Lora said. “It's just that we're on the opposite side of the fence now but if not, we'll be cheering for this team.”
(Ed's note: This is the first part of our WAGS [Wives and Girlfriends] series. Watch out for the next installment)