Guiao says Red Bull reunion at NLEX didn't happen by design as he explains Baguio trade
Former Red Bull players Cyrus Baguio and Larry Fonacier are now with Yeng Guiao at NLEX, but the fiery coach insists the reunion didn't happen by design. 

THERE'S no plan whatsoever to have a Red Bull grand reunion at NLEX in the aftermath of the team's acquisition of Cyrus Baguio.

Coach Yeng Guiao said acquiring the high-flying veteran wingman was actually a long time coming and not necessarily meant to add to the growing list of former players who have joined him at the Road Warriors camp.

"Hindi naman ako bumubuo ng 2017 Red Bull version dito," Guiao said in a talk with with a laugh. "Sinasabi nila si Mick (Pennisi) na ang susunod, tapos mag-unretire daw si Jimwell Torion."

"Hindi naman ganun yung plano and hindi naman yun ang requirement," he added.

Baguio came on board on Tuesday in a three-team trade also involving Globalport and Phoenix - the latest former Red Bull player to join Guiao at NLEX after Larry Fonacier and Rico Villanueva.

JR Quinahan and Rabeh Al-Hussaini, meanwhile, also played under Guiao in the past, nay with different teams.

[See Baguio reunites with Guiao at NLEX after three-team trade]

Guiao said the series of trades NLEX pulled off over the past few months were, more than anything else, meant to fast track the team's maturity process.

"We need these guys to mentor our young players. We need experience, leadership, and knowledge of basketball because alam namin magkakaroon ng overlapping yung young and old players namin," said Guiao.

"Gradually this will be the team of Kevin Alas, Alex Mallari, and the other young guys. But for now, we need the guidance and leadership of Larry, Asi (Taulava), JR, and Cyrus." 

Guiao said acquiring Baguio had practical and sentimental aspect to it.

"As per nababasa ko, he wants to retire where he started," said Guiao of the 36-year-old Baguio, who he selected in the second round (14th overall) for Red Bull during the 2003 draft.


"So there's a strong sentimental value acceding to that request."

But at the same time, bringing in someone who played under him during his first five years in the league would no longer require a full grasp of the system Guiao is currently running with the Road Warriors.

"I have to stick to what I'm familiar with," he said. "There's less risk because yung unknown factors hindi na kailangang i-assess."

NLEX is currently running second in the PBA Governors Cup standings at 5-1. The winning record is enough for Guiao not to tinker with the lineup anymore following the Baguio trade.

"Nagpapanalo e, so I don't want to disturb it unnecessarily," he said.

For now.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos