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    Guiao confident solid ties with Cruz, Quinahan will weigh in contract talks

    Jan 26, 2022
    JR Quinahan Yeng Guiao Jericho Cruz NLEX
    Yeng Guiao has had a long relationship with both JR Quinahan, left, and Jericho Cruz since their days at Rain or Shine.
    PHOTO: PBA Images

    NLEX coach Yeng Guiao had been with JR Quinahan and Jericho Cruz for a long time that he doesn’t see a hitch in the contract negotiations both players will have with NLEX.

    If not, their long-time mentor has something waiting for them.

    “Magkakambal na sampal ang aabutin sa akin nun kapag hindi nag-renew ang mga 'yun sa amin,” said Guiao in jest.

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    Kidding aside, the champion coach feels confident the two will stay with the Road Warriors once their contract expires at the end of the PBA 46th season.

    “We’re already initiating talks with these guys. Ako kumpiyansa naman ako kay Jericho, kay JR,” he said.

    The two veterans, who previously played and won championships with Guiao while they were together at Rain or Shine, had their old contracts expired last December 31, but were extended by management until the end of the season.

    “Ang nangyari kasi sa kanila or most of the players who were expiring December of last year, we signed them to a two-month extension, kasi akala naman by February, matatapos yung conference na ito,” explained Guiao.

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    Contract extensions

    But the problem surfaced when the resumption of the season-ending games was postponed after the holiday break due to the spike in COVID-19 cases.

    With a projected restart in early February, the conference could likely end in late March or early April.

    Nonetheless, Guiao said the extensions give management and the players enough leeway to negotiate for new contracts.

    “So we’re hoping na bago itong conference ay matapos, the two-month extension will give us enough time na hindi ka nagmamadali na nagne-negotiate doon sa mga nag-expire,” said Guiao.

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      The 37-year-old Quinahan is in his sixth season with the Road Warriors after being acquired in a trade with NorthPort in 2017. He has been playing under Guiao since 2011 dating back to their stint with Rain or Shine where they won two championships together.

      Cruz meanwhile, was selected by Guiao in the first round of the 2014 draft (No. 9 overall) and was part of the Elasto Painters’ last championship unit during the 2016 Commissioner’s Cup.

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      He was reunited with the 62-year-old mentor when NLEX acquired him in a trade with TNT in 2019.

      Actually, Cruz can exercise his right to choose a team he prefers to play for once his deal with the Road Warriors expires as he will be an unrestricted free agent.

      But Guiao feels the wingman out of Adamson will eventually decide to stay with the team.

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        “Ito namang mga ito matagal ko nang kasama, so we will negotiate with them,” he said. “We’re comfortable, we’re very confident naman na hindi kami mahihirapan.”

        NLEX is currently in third place in the PBA Governors Cup with a 4-1 record heading to the season resumption in the first week of February.

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        Yeng Guiao has had a long relationship with both JR Quinahan, left, and Jericho Cruz since their days at Rain or Shine.
        PHOTO: PBA Images
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