Guiao says it's time to look past Paul Lee, develop new breed of stars at NLEX
“I did not want to get distracted by him or by our previous relationship,” NLEX coach Yeng Guiao says when asked about former star player Paul Lee. Jaime Campos

WHAT Yeng Guiao has taught Paul Lee during their time at Rain or Shine, he hopes to impart to his new players at NLEX this time.

In their first meeting since parting ways, the former Elasto Painters mentor saw his former star torch the Road Warriors for 20 points, seven assists, and five boards in leading Star to a 99-75 win in the PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday night.

“It was kind of weird, pagnakaka-shoot siya, akala ko kami nakaka-shoot,” Guiao said with a chuckle after the game. “Pero ganun talaga. What he learned from Rain or Shine and from our time together, that’s his. Hindi na sa akin yun. He can take that wherever he goes.”

“It’s time to move on,” the champion coach who took Lee under his wings in his first five years in the pros added. “Kailangan ko naman turuan yung mga sarili kong players ngayon. I have to give and impart knowledge naman to my own players so we can match up with them.”

[See Paul Lee pays respect to Ninong Yeng - then proceeds to dismantle his NLEX side]

Guiao has a number of young, talented players who he can develop at NLEX, among them Garvo Lanete, Kevin Alas, Glenn Khobuntin, Eric Camson, Raul Soyud, and Bradwyin Guinto.

On Wednesday, no one among the Road Warriors had an answer to the Hotshots’ small lineup led by Lee, rookie Jio Jalalon, and Mark Barroca.

That’s why Guiao had no time to play mind games with Lee, instead focusing on toughening up his own players the way he did with his former prized ward.

“I did not want to get distracted by him or by our previous relationship,” Guiao said. “Nag-focus na lang ako dun sa team ko. I think na kahit ano pang gawin o sabihin ko, it will not help our cause kanina eh.”

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“In some future situations, it might,” he added with a smile. “Pero kanina, binabasa ko at kailangan ko talagang mag-focus on just trying to build some more character for our team.”

[See Guiao on NLEX: 'Marami pa silang sigaw at murang maririnig sa kin, hanggang matuto sila']

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos