“I’m really close to my Rain or Shine family,” said Nieto after Converge’s first game in the PBA on Tour against Terrafirma. “Actually, iniyakan ko si coach Yeng nung nangyari kasi napalapit na ako kay coach Yeng.”
“Si coach Yeng, unang anak si Matt tapos ako. Mas matagal ‘yung pagsasama nila kesa sa akin,” said Nieto, referring to his twin brother who also played under Guiao when the coach was still with NLEX.
Despite the trade, Nieto said he will be forever be grateful to Rain or Shine for being his first team. It was also there where he developed relationships that he cherishes, the former Ateneo forward added.
“At the end of the day, I’m grateful for the chance na binigay sa akin ng Rain or Shine, the lessons and experiences, ‘yung bonding namin nila Kuya Beau [Belga], nila Kuya Gabe [Norwood], hinding hindi ko makakalimutan, ‘yung mga kalokohan namin ni Mamu [Gian Mamuyac].”
Incidentally, Nieto had a chance to interact with his former teammates after the game since Rain or Shine played NLEX in the other half of the Friday double-header.
“That’s the result of being close with them. Hindi naman nila ako lolokohin kung hindi ako naka-buo ng relationships with them. I think one year and a half din ‘yun. Even before kahit nung nasa Gilas ako, si Kuya Gabe, parati niya akong mine-message. Na-mimiss ko sila. Pero deep inside, I will always cherish and hindi ko makakalimutan ‘yung mga pinagdaanan namin,” said Nieto.
Moving forward, Nieto said his mentality was to stay aggressive in his PBA on Tour debut with Converge, finishing with 12 points and 12 rebounds in the FiberXers’ 119-82 win over Terrafirma on Friday.
“I was really aggressive lang kanina kasi medyo hindi ako naba-box out. ‘Yun lang sinasabi sa akin na as much as possible, hangga’t makakaya ko na makuha ‘yung rebound, kuhanin ko,” said Nieto.
“I’m really excited about what’s to come,” said Nieto.