Yeng Guiao willing to wait as he works on latest 'project,' Fonzo Gotladera
To thrive in Yeng Guiao's system, rookie Fonzo Gotladero must develop an outside touch. The new NLEX coach has no doubts that he can. Jerome Ascano

HE’S known to turn diamonds in the rough into polished gems, and NLEX coach Yeng Guiao hopes to develop one in Fonzo Gotladera.

He is not expecting immediate results, and Guiao says he is keen to help the young slotman reach his potential.

‘Di bale mag-invest ng time sa big men. Besides, dito sa draft, konti ang big men who can make an immediate impact, so you just have to make that sacrifice of trying to identify your projects and work on those projects,” Guiao said.

Probably getting one of the lowest picks in the pre-arranged special draft, the Road Warriors settled for the 24-year-old Gotladera, a last-minute addition to the Gilas pool.

“We’re pretty satisfied (with our picks),” said the veteran coach, whose team also selected cat-quick playmaker Reden Celda in the regular draft. “Of course, yun namang Gilas draft was already determined before [Sunday], but we're pretty satisfied. We're looking for a big man and Fonso Gotladera is a big man.”

“We know we have to work on some aspects of his game and I know he also understands that,” he added. “We are preparing actually for our next generation big men. Asi (Taulava) and Enrico (Villanueva) are not young anymore so this is the start of the preparation for that.”

[See Mahindra loses another big man as Bradwyn Guinto now NLEX-bound]

And the 6-foot-6 Gotladera must work on his outside shot to adapt to Guiao’s brand of play.

“If they do not have those skills, those skills can be acquired,” Guiao said. “It will entail hard work and different focus, but I think they're willing to do that. Besides, all of those big men who adapted to the system are very happy of what they're doing.

“Pangarap ng big men makatira sa labas and if you allow them to do that and they practice that, they will get better,” he added. “I don't think Gotladera will be any different.”


“With the potential of these young guys, it may not be of immediate impact, but the important thing is you start the process, so we're starting the process,” Guiao ended.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos