YENG Guiao may be one of the most feared coaches in the pro league among his own players, opposing players, and referees.
But he's apparently well-loved by his players.
On the day his move to Air21 Express is set to be sealed, Rain or Shine big man Ronnie Matias said his biggest regret is having to part with his teammates and longtime coach Guiao.
“Napamahal na tayo sa team eh. Saka kay coach Yeng ako madaming natutunan. Lumabas talaga laro ko,” said Matias, a tinge of sadness palpable in his voice. "Kaso, ganun talaga eh."
They Said It!
“Napamahal na tayo sa team eh. Saka kay coach Yeng ako madaming natutunan. Lumabas talaga laro ko." - Ronnie Matias, recently traded from Rain or Shine to Air21 Express
Rain or Shine governor Mert Mondragon told Spin.ph on Wednesday they are in the process of finalizing the details of the deal, where they will get the Express’ 2015 second-round pick in exchange for Matias.
“Malamang within the day, maiisumite na namin kay commissioner (Chito Salud). Tumatawag ako sa kanya hindi pa nasagot,” said Mondragon. “So malamang ngayong hapon na namin ipadala."
Mondragon bared that he is still haggling with Air 21 for a better deal.
The 2015 pick, however, could be valuable since that is the draft when current college stars like Kiefer Ravena, Jeron Teng, and Kevin Ferrer are supposed to turn pro.
In fact, analysts believe that pool can be comparable to the 2013 batch, which yielded marquee players like Gregory Slaughter, Ian Sangalang, Raymond Almazan, Terrence Romeo and RR Garcia.
As for Matias, the move to Air21 after three seasons with Rain or Shine may do his career well since he has become expendable at the Painters camp following the arrival of top rookies Jeric Teng, Alex Nuyles, and Almazan.
Still, he is holding out hope down to the very end that the deal to Air21 won't push through, noting that Guiao has yet to talk to him one on one the same way he said goodbye to his former players.
“Tradition kasi ni coach Yeng na kausapin ang mga players bago ma-trade. Minsan tinatawag niya sa dinner, ganun din nangyari kay Ronjay (Buenafe) dati eh. Ngayon di pa niya ko pinapatawag,” he said.
When Spin.ph caught up with him, however, Matias was with Guiao and the rest of the team at their rookies’ treat at Saisaki EDSA on Wednesday afternoon.