THE last time Rain or Shine played at the MOA Arena, Yeng Guiao got caught in a massive gridlock on his way to the game from his home province of Pampanga that he ended up yielding the coaching reins to assistant Caloy Garcia.
With a more important game to coach, he isn't taking any chances.
The veteran Rain or Shine coach on Friday left Pampanga way ahead of time and made an early start for the Pasay arena, not wanting to be late for Game Two of the Painters' PBA Philippine Cup series against San Mig Coffee which starts at 5:15pm.
Guiao, who is the vice governor of Pampanga, said he cancelled all his personal appointments in the morning and, anticipating heavy traffic in the metropolis with the holiday rush, left for Manila around lunchtime.
When Spin.ph caught up with him at a little past 1 p.m., Guiao was already in Valenzuela near the end of the NLEX line and right on schedule to make it to the MOA Arena with plenty to spare.
That wasn't the case the last time Rain or Shine played Barako Bull at the MOA Arena on December 7 in an elimination-round game that had no bearing for the Painters.
Guiao said traffic was so bad that day it took him five hours to get to the venue from Pampanga - usual travel time for that span would be a little over two hours - as he arrived with the match already deep into the second half.
The Painters ended up watching the rest of the game from behind the team's bench, allowing Garcia to finish what he started as Rain or Shine cruised to a 116-101 victory.
If he gets caught in another traffic snarl this time, Guiao good-naturedly said he has two back-up plans.
One is to hire a motorcycle. The other is to take the old LRT line all the way to Baclaran.