DEFENDING Governors' Cup champion Rain or Shine nearly ditched its ‘no trade policy’ and dealt away players during their slump last week.
This was bared by head coach Yeng Guiao who admitted to Spin.ph that he tinkered with the idea of trading players during a slide that saw the Elasto Painters fall from the top position to sixth place in the eliminations following successive losses.
“Sunod-sunod talo namin eh. That time I really had no plans to trade, pero I already told my players that trading will become a possibility,” said Guiao.
“Two straight losses kami 'nun eh. Sabi ko nga - kung natalo pa kami ng Barako Bull nung Martes … malamang serious consideration ko na 'yun (trade),” he bared.
Even team manager Boy Lapid confirmed the plan nearly took off.
“Oo, muntik talagang nag-trade si coach. Buti nga gumanda ang takbo ulit ng team,” said Lapid.
Until a 120-93 win over Barako Bull on Tuesday, several players have been underperforming for Rain or Shine, among them Jeff Chan, Gabe Norwood, and Beau Belga - the three players loaned to Gilas Pilipinas for the Fiba-Asia championship.
Sensational sophomore guard Paul Lee shared to Spin.ph the mood in practice during their team’s struggle.
“Seryoso talaga si coach 'nun. At alam nga namin na pwede niyang gawin yun. Kaya nag-usap usap kami para hanapin ulit sarili namin,” said the 2012 Rookie of the Year awardee.
“Knowing coach, alam namin na kahit sino pwede niya i-trade. Kilala niyo naman 'yun. Kaya niyang maghasa ng bagong player. Hindi siya aasa sa isa o dalawang tao lang,” added Lee.
Asked if he has untouchable players in his roster like the other teams, Guiao firmly responded: "None, wala kaming indispensable dito.
“Walang sacred cow dito. Kung magte-trade kami at yung isang particular player ang hihingin na kapalit nung kailangan namin, ibibigay namin,” said the first-term representative of the first district of Pampanga.
“Importante kasi sa team namin dapat willing kang maglaro at masaya kang naglalaro para sa team. Kaya kahit na magaling na magaling ka o key player ka pero hindi ka na happy dito, may paglalagyan ka,” he said.
Known to develop and bring the best out of his players, Guiao bared that he has always made it a point to impose a ‘no superstar philosophy’ in his team.
“Wala kaming superstar and I don’t want to use that term in our team. Everyone is dispensable,” Guiao said. “Kahit sino rito pwedeng ma-trade!"
“We don’t want to rely on one person and make that one person believe he is the lifeblood of this team. Ayoko ng ganun,” he added. “Very dangerous 'yun.”