Guiao admits RoS staff convinced him to pick Ahanmisi over Thompson in rookie draft
Rookie Maverick Ahanmisi repaid the RoS coaching staff's faith in the finals. Jaime Campos

IT'S been told a lot of times how Yeng Guiao was prevailed upon by his coaching staff for Rain or Shine to use the No. 3 pick on Maverick Ahanmisi during last year's rookie draft.

For someone who trusted his deputy coaches so much, it was no surprise that Guiao relented and made the Fil-Nigerian rookie a part of the Elasto Painters family.

On Wednesday night, Ahanmisi repaid the faith of his coach as he played a big part in the team's successful title campaign in the PBA Commissioner's Cup that saw the franchise end a four-year title drought by beating Alaska in the best-of-seven title series.

Guiao said it was good that he allowed himself to be convinced by his staff led by Caloy Garcia.

"I was really helped by my coaching staff. Sila talaga yung nag-push (to draft Ahanmisi), " recalled Guiao as he basked in the glory of his seventh championship as a coach.

"Actually hindi ko talaga kukunin si Maverick but because I trusted my coaching staff, kinuha ko na."

And who was supposed to be his bet with the No. 3 pick overall, Guiao was asked.

"Si Scottie Thompson sana, e, " revealed Guiao, referring to the do-it-all guard out of University of Perpetual Help, who was eventually selected at No. 6 by Barangay Ginebra.

[See Ahanmisi silences doubters by coming into his own in PBA Finals]

Again, the voice of his deputies didn't fall on deaf ears.

"Sabi nila we could form a beter chemistry or combination with Paul (Lee), Jeff (Chan), and Maverick," said the fiery mentor.

Ahanmisi struggle a bit early in his rookie season, but once he settled down, he went and proved himself. In the finals, the rookie guard tallied a career-high 30 pts against Alaska's noted pressing defense during a 111-99 losing cause in Game Four.

Guiao would later give credit where credit is really due.

"Sabi nga nila the responsibility still falls on my shoulder because I made that decision (to pick Ahanmisi at No. 3)," he said. "Again I was not the one who proved them wrong. It was Maverick who proved the critics wrong with the way he played."

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