LEONARD Santillan finally got a taste of Yeng Guiao’s infamous temper and it happened not in practice but during Rain or Shine’s PBA Commissioner’s Cup game against Barangay Ginebra on Friday night.
The sophomore wingman said it was the first time he felt the wrath of the champion coach, although not personally aimed at him but to the entire Elasto Painters side.
It took place early in the game when the Kings took an early 9-3 lead with 9:37 to go in the opening quarter, prompting Guiao to call a timeout and admonish his team.
“Kanina meron, (pero) kaming lahat during the game,” said Santillan in between laughs. "Kanina 'yun nung pangit yung first quarter namin. Yun hanggang dun meron.”
It was an early wake up call from Guiao to which the Elasto Painters responded.
By the time the first quarter ended, Rain or Shine was already on top, 25-23. The team then went on a huge tear in the next period by outscoring the Kings, 30-5, to sit on a comfortable 55-28 lead at the half.
Santillan connived with Anton Assistio and Norbert Torres to spearhead the first half breakaway from which Barangay Ginebra never recovered.
“Nagtuluy-tuloy na yung magandang laro (namin) dahil dun," Santillan said.
The 26-year-old native of Lapu-Lapu City led all Rain or Shine locals with 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the floor and had four rebounds in the win that served as Guiao’s first in his coaching comeback with the franchise.
The victory is definitely a huge one for the Elasto Painters since the Kings are among the favorites to win the crown.
Likewise, the team was coming off a 96-90 loss to NLEX in its opening game.
“Nakakapag-boost ito sa amin na makapag-compete sa ibang team itong panalo na ito kasi Ginebra yun, mahirap talunin," Santillan said.
In his second year with Rain or Shine, Santillan is also playing under a second coach in Guiao, having spent his rookie season with coach Chris Gavina, now a part of Guiao’s battery of deputies.
But the Cebuano forward said the adjustment wasn’t difficult.
“Hindi ako nahirapan dahil naka-adjust naman ako ng mabilis kay coach Yeng,” he said.
And that meant getting used to hearing more choice words from Guiao.
“So far, wala pa sa practice,” said Santillan.