JIREH Ibañes is offering a win-win solution to both Rain or Shine and NLEX when they tangle on Friday night in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Philsports Arena.
The veteran Elasto Painters wingman can see a victory for his team that can also turn out to a triumph in the long run for a Road Warriors side that’s now under their former coach in Yeng Guiao.
“Gusto ko makitang matalo sila, kasi syempre nandun na siya sa kabilang bakod eh,” Ibañes said after practice on the eve of the 7 p.m. matchup, well aware such result won’t sit well with Guiao, but also believing it will also augur well for the Road Warriors in the future.
“Gusto ko magalit siya sa mga bata niya, which is maganda sa amin and beneficial din for them,” he said. “Lahat naman dumadaan sa ganun eh. Pag napapanood ko nga mga games nila, at laging paulit-ulit na sinasabi ng commentator na growing pains, nanggaling din kami dun eh.”
Ibañes doesn’t mind witnessing the Road Warriors make their strides with Guiao at the helm – but not at the E-Painters’ expense as they are eager to gain a share of second spot with a fourth win in six games.
“Of course, you want them to improve kasi syempre si Coach Yeng pa rin yun, but not at our expense,” the longest-tenured E-Painter said, seeking to deal NLEX its fifth loss in six games. “I want to win badly against them. Yun yung mindset ko at hopefully ng buong team for tomorrow’s game.”
But it’s nothing personal against the champion coach who helped Ibañes nurture a long 11-year career, trusting him for his defense and doing the little things that don't show up in the stats sheets.
“I think the Rain or Shine management, na-recognize nila yung what I bring to the table, pero at the same time, Coach Yeng helped me big time,” said Ibañes, who was named Defensive Player of the Year in the 2011-12 season, the same year Guiao took over RoS. “Yung trust na binigay niya sa akin, malaking bagay yun.”
“Yung sinasabi nila na ang players kailangan ready pag naglaro pag tinawag ng coach, pero it goes hand in hand eh, complementary yun eh, at yun ang binigay niya sa amin lahat na na-carry over ngayon,” he added.