NEWS that veteran coach Yeng Guiao has taken a career detour and moved from Rain or Shine to NLEX was like music to the ears for Griz Camson.
Griz is the wife of Eric Camson, a bench player of the Road Warriors out of Adamson who barely saw action last season. That is bound to change - or at least that's what the wife hopes - with Guiao taking over the team.
“Happy ako, super happy. Kasi si Yeng Guiao yung type ng tao na di namimili ng mga superstar, di siya tumitingin sa ganun, tapos gagamitin ka pag nakakatulong ka,” she said.
“Ako personally, nakakita ako ng pag-asa kasi di pa siya ganun kagamit. Kailangan din nya ng magandang break, sana ito na ‘yun, so he can stay longer in the PBA,” added the former Griz Timbas.
Guiao has carved a reputation of turning unheralded teams into champions in a coaching career spanning almost three decades marked by seven championships with RFM Swift, Red Bull and Rain or Shine.
But more than that, Guiao has also turned a long line of former unheralded players into stars, among them Jeff Chan, Beau Belga, JR Quinahan and Ryan Arana at Rain or Shine; Junthy Valenzuela and Lordy Tugade at Red Bull; and Bonel Balingit at Swift.
That alone is hope for Camson and other other fringe players at NLEX like Glen Khobuntin, especially with Guiao noticeably taking a liking for bruisers with tough-as-nails reputations.
“Yun nga eh. Ang dami na n’yang na-discover at na-train and develop, so sana makatulong rin siya kay Eric at sa iba pang NLEX players para mag-improve. I just hope the players and the team will respond,” she said.
Camson bared that her husband has been a longtime fan of Guiao and that he was even very vocal during pre-draft interviews in 2013 how he wanted to be drafted by Rain or Shine, Guiao's former team.
“Gustong gusto niya talaga si Coach Yeng na maging coach. Kaya nga sa mga interviews niya dati, lagi niya sinasabi na sana Rain or Shine makakuha sa kanya,” said Mrs. Camson.
Camson was eventually drafted 16th overall by the Air21 Express but has yet to get a big break three seasons into his PBA career.
Now his wife hopes that is bound to change with Guiao in charge at NLEX.
“Blue-collar worker kasi si Eric even nung time niya sa Adamson. Isa sa mga idol nya si Homer Se na isa rin sa mga produkto ni coach Yeng. Magaling kasi magbigay ng kumpiyansa sa players si Coach Yeng. Gagamitin ka niya pag nakita niya na may potential ka to shine,” she said.
So excited was Eric upon hearing the news about Guiao's transfer that he eventually went out for a job, even if it was the offseason for the Road Warriors.
“Pero sabi ko nga kay Eric as soon as nabasa ko sa SPIN.ph na si coach Yeng na sa amin, ‘Kailangan mo lumaro para mag-improve ka, otherwise baka ma-trade ka.' Nag-promise naman siya, kaya nga nag double up agad sa ensayo si Eric kanina, nag-jogging agad,” added the former beauty queen from Guindirayan, Romblon.
Asked if her husband is ready to be showered with invectives by the fiery coach, Griz let out a hearty laugh.
“Oo naman, kasi part na yan ng laro, saka expected na yun kay Coach Yeng," she said. “Saka hindi ka naman mapapagalitan at mamumura kung wala kang pagkukulang, kaya gawin mo na lang yung role mo at pinapagawa sa 'yo.”