RAIN or Shine coach Yeng Guiao will be in his fourth finals appearance in the PBA Philippine Cup - and still gunning for the first all-Filipino championship of his career.
But that's not his immediate task right now. First Guiao must find a way not to get ejected.
The temperamental coach has vowed to keep his cool in the best-of-seven title series against San Mig, saying his first objective is not to get thrown out - or worse, suspended - from games.
They Said It!
“I think the important thing is I’ve expressed my point. Even the commissioner agrees that officiating is a public issue." Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao
That should be a tall order for the multi-titled coach, who was ejected in two games and got suspended for another during Rain or Shine's 4-1 semifinal victory over Petron.
“I certainly don’t want to be watching my team anywhere. I want to be coaching,” Guiao said during Thursday afternoon’s Finals press conference at the Sambokojin Restaurant at the Eastwood City, Libis, Quezon City.
"I want to be able to help my team win, so that’s the objective."
Guiao admitted that it would be difficult to watch his team play the Mixers from somewhere else, just as he did last week when Rain or Shine finished off Petron, 97-88, in Game Five after serving a one-game ban and being slapped with a hefty P100,000 fine.
The 54-year-old mentor also failed to finish Games Three and Four as well after being ejected for incurring two technical fouls for run-ins with referees and flashing a dirty finger at Petron star forward Arwind Santos.
Guiao knows the stakes are higher in the Finals, so he has vowed to approach his fourth all-Filipino championship series in a different light.
“I’ll just to be able to go through the process the normal way. Walang mga extraordinary events,” said Guiao, who has six league championships to his name.
But Guiao has high hopes that officiating will be more consistent in the best-of-seven series after "getting my message across" in his meeting with PBA commissioner Chito Salud.
“I think the important thing is I’ve expressed my point. Even the commissioner agrees that officiating is a public issue, na hindi lang pinapanood natin ang mga players kung magaling sila or coaches and teams na magaling sila,” explained Guiao, who is also a first-term congressman of the first district of Pampanga.
“We also have to appreciate kung magaling din ang nag-officiate. That’s (officating) part of the game. I’ve made my point. I’ll leave it at that.”