IF there’s anything that puts a smile on coach Yeng Guiao’s face these days, it’s the fact that Rain or Shine has managed to display an admirable level of consistency the last two-and-a-half seasons under his watch.
Guiao takes pride in the fact that the E-Painters have not finished lower than fifth since they won their maiden title in the league in the 2012 PBA Governors' Cup - not bad for a team which its coach pointed out is not blessed with superstars or a sky-is-the-limit budget.
“We’re not the most talented and we’re not the tallest team. We’re not the most expensive team, but we’ve been able to stay consistent just by applying our system and following a philosophy which is a little unorthodox, but it works,” said the multi-titled head coach.
They Said It!
“We’re not the most talented and we’re not the tallest team. We’re not the most expensive team, but we’ve been able to stay consistent just by applying our system and following a philosophy which is a little unorthodox, but it works." - Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao
'A little unorthodox,' of course, is putting it mildly when you talk about Guiao's system, which features a deep and wildly unpredictable rotation as well as sometimes unexpected endgame gambits.
At the center of all these is Guiao, a tough drillmaster who doesn't hesitate to bench a top player or pull a greenhorn out of his hat in the most crucial situations, just as easily as he complains about a ref's call.
The system works, but only because his players - from veterans Beau Belga and Jeff Chan to youngsters Chris Tiu and Jeric Teng - embrace it, Guiao pointed out.
“It’s (success) a testimony to the players embracing that system,” the Pampanga congressman said.
Now the Elasto Painters just finished the PBA Philippine Cup eliminations tied for the league's best record at 11-3 (win-loss) with Barangay Ginebra and are the hottest team going to the playoffs, having won their last seven games.
On the eve of the playoff with GlobalPort where second-seeded Rain or Shine enjoys a twice-to-beat edge, Guiao expects the Painters to be simply the Painters - a hard-fighting team that shares the ball and gives every opponent a run for its money.
“I was just talking to (Rain or Shine) boss Raymond (Yu) about that (finishing No. 2) and comparing our performances (the past season). (I think) it’s a measure of consistency,” said Guiao.