NLEX pulled off the biggest surprise of the 2018 PBA Rookie Draft when it made University of the Philippines hero Paul Desiderio the No. 4 pick overall on Sunday.
Yeng Guiao's decision to get Desiderio raised a lot of eyebrows, considering the Road Warriors' lineup is already laden with talented guards like Kiefer Ravena and Kevin Alas.
The team also gave up a lot just to get its hands on the No. 4 selection, sending Alex Mallari and Dave Marcelo to Phoenix just to move up the drafting order.
But NLEX coach Yeng Guiao knows exactly what he's doing.
“You can’t go wrong with him naman,” said Guiao, also a UP alumnus. “There is a whole community behind him of which I also belong to.”
“He is a leader. He is a clutch guy. He is tenacious on offense and defense. He does not shy away from tight situations. He’s been actually my type of a guy,” Guiao said.
Guiao is no stranger to draft surprises, his most notable one coming in the 2015 draft when he selected Maverick Ahanmisi at No. 3 for Rain or Shine.
The multi-titled coach also has had a long line of Cebuano players stand out in his teams, among them Jimwell Torion, Junthy Valenzuela and, lately, Macmac Tallo.
Guiao said he doesn’t mind if Desiderio will only add to the crowded guard lineup of NLEX, saying he is open to trading the former UP star if it doesn't work out.
“We are still heavy on guards. We don’t close the option of other teams being interested in him. It’s also an investment just in case there are options for us to explore.
"But whether we keep him or not, an additional weapon that we can have for the team."