RAIN or Shine coach Yeng Guiao considers the team’s PBA Philippine Cup Finals appearance as double vindication.
For one, Guiao said he’s so happy with how the Elasto Painters beat the odds by finishing off a fancied Petron team in five games of their best-of-seven semifinals series.
“Syempre tuwang tuwa ako, pinaglaban ng mga bata eh. They used the events to give them more motivation and strengthen their determination,” said Guiao, who wasn't around for the Finals-clinching 97-88 win as he served out the suspension for flashing a dirty finger at league officials.
But more importantly, the six-time champion coach asserted that Rain or Shine's victory proved that winning is something that money can’t buy.
“Kung tutuusin, mukha ngang kami ang team na pinakamura (ang budget sa PBA). Hindi kami katulad nung ibang teams na maraming superstars, malalaki ang sweldo,” stressed the fiery mentor.
“Kami kasi dinaan namin sa pasensya ang team na ito. Nagtiyaga kami. Hinintay naming mahinog, may pagkukulang at mistakes kami nung una, pero alam namin this time, lalo pang lalakas ang chemistry,” he added.
Guiao said there is nothing special about the team, revealing that it’s only recipe for success is by keeping its lineup intact as much as possible - reason why the players and staff have developed and strengthened their brotherhood and camaraderie.
As a result, he said, Rain or Shine is now made up of players who genuinely like each other and are treated equally by coaches and officials.
“Maganda kasi sa team namin, parang pamilya na. Parang magkakapatid na. Maganda chemistry, maganda samahan. Everybody likes each other,” Guiao said.
“Saka ang na-develop naming team eh pantay-pantay, very close ang isa’t isa sa team. Walang paborito, walang outcast. Lahat sama-sama. Walang mayaman, walang mahirap, walang lubog (laos), walang sikat,” he said.
And now that the Elasto Painters are already in the Finals of the All-Filipino Cup for the second straight season, Guiao expressed the team’s readiness to go to battle.
“Handa na kami. Mahirap ang pinag-daanan namin. Ang daming nangyari. Pero nalagpasan namin,” added Pampanga’s first district representative.
Guiao said his players showed that they earn every cent of their pay every game.
“Depende kasi sa ibang coach yan eh. Yung ibang teams kasi may mga superstars na sila. So kung nasa kanila `yung player ko, magtiya-tiyaga muna siguro sila sa role playing,” he said.
“Pero yun nga ang sinasabi ko sa mga players ko, ‘They want to prove na value for money sila,’ sinasabi ko na `yung sinusweldo nila eh angkop sa nilalaro nila,” Guiao added.