EVEN after his move from NLEX to Rain or Shine, Yeng Guiao will still be coaching a Nieto – but it’s going to be Mike instead of Matt.
Mike Nieto has found himself playing for his twin brother’s first coach in the PBA after Guiao accepted the offer to return to Rain or Shine.
Mike said he already knows the style of Guiao based on his conversations with his twin brother.
“Si Matt, siya ang nagkaroon ng unang chance na maging coach si coach Yeng. Nabigyan naman ako ng pagkakataon. Excited dahil sa lahat ng sinasabi at kinekwento ng kakambal ko sa akin, paano sila kapag natatalo, isang oras sila sa locker room, sana hindi naman mangyari sa amin ‘yun pero you’ll never know,” said Nieto.
[READ: Did Guiao have prior knowledge of Oftana-to-TNT trade?]
Nieto said he is excited for the opportunity to learn from another legendary coach after being handled previously by Tab Baldwin during his stint with Ateneo and Gilas Pilipinas.
“We are all excited especially kaming mga bago, si Mamu [Mamuyac], si Shaun [Ildefonso], kasi coming from Ateneo, a legendary coach like coach Tab, and then coach Yeng Guiao naman kami ngayon. Excited and fulfilling ‘yung matupad ang pangarap namin na maging under ni coach Yeng,” Mike said.
Mike said that, in general, he sees similarities in the style of Guiao and Baldwin in terms of putting emphasis on game preparation.
“’Yung isang tumatak sa sinabi ni coach Yeng is ‘yung preparation para maging successful. I think ganun din kami, ‘yun ang nakasanayan namin sa Ateneo. ‘Yun din ang pini-preach ni coach Tab kaya kami nanalo ng tatlong championship kasi ‘yung preparation na ginawa namin.”
“Ngayon, kahit konti ‘yung preparation, dadahan dahanin namin para maganda ‘yung homecoming ni coach Yeng,” said Nieto.
For his part, Gian Mamuyac, who like Nieto is one of the youngsters in the squad, said he is ready to receive harsh words that has become the hallmark of Guiao’s coaching.
“Sabi naman po niya na kapag sinisigawan niya kami, it’s not him being personal against us. It’s just him wanting us to be better, wanting us to achieve the best player that we can be,” said Mamuyac.
Like Mamuyac, Nieto said he is ready to play any role that Guiao is asked of him.
“Kung ano man ibigay na role ni coach Yeng sa aming mga bata, ‘yun ang gagampanan namin. Ever since nasa Ateneo kami, Gilas, and now sa Rain or Shine, kung anong kailangan ni coach Yeng sa amin, ‘yun ang gagawin namin.”
“Ako, kami ni Mamu, dalawang conference hindi pa kami nakakatungtong ng playoffs. Madaya si Matt kasi nakatungtong na siya isang beses under coach Yeng. Sana we can contend for a championship,” said Mike.