AMID Barangay Ginebra's title drought and its revolving door of coaches, Yeng Guiao has been constantly mentioned as the ideal coach who can bring the old fire out of the league's most popular ballclub.
But is a Guiao move to Ginebra even possible?
The Rain or Shine coach was quick to quash speculations, saying there are no offers whatsoever from Ginebra management while casting doubts on whether such a move will happen in the future.
“Wala. Hindi, walang alok sa akin,” said Guiao, a multi-titled coach known for his no-nonsense approach to games and practices as well as his ability to turn fringe players into league standouts.
Guiao, who admits following former Ginebra playing-coach Robert Jaworski during his early years, said he is flattered by a clamor from not a few fans who want to see him call the shots for the Gin Kings.
“Alam mo nakaka-flatter yan, alam mo napakadaming fans ng Ginebra, may nakakaisip ng ganoong possibility,” he said. “Pero alam mo Masaya na tayo rito sa Rain or Shine.”
The Pampanga congressman also doubted if he will get a call from Ginebra anytime soon, saying the SMC organization has a deep pool of competent coaches beginning with newly installed coach Ato Agustin.
“Napakadaming reserve na magaling na coaches na naghihintay lamang ng break at pagkakataon,” Guiao said. “Saka ayan, andyan na ulit si Coach Ato, sa tingin ko maayos na ulit ang problema nila sa Ginebra.”
Guiao declined to comment on Ginebra's struggle over the years, saying it's unethical to do so. But at the end of the day, anyone who will call the shots for the team will be measured by only one thing, he added.
“At the end of the day, ang basehan mo dyan is nag-perform ba sila o hindi, nakarating ba sila sa dapat nilang maratingf or naabot ba ng lineup nila ang potential?” he said.
“Ang sa akin, ito importante rin na maisip natin na matagalan talaga ang pag-develop ng team, hindi mo pwede yang madaliin. Kailangan talaga, tiyagaan 'yan ang pag-dedevelop ng team.”
Meanwhile, Ginebra veteran guard Jayjay Helterbrand said the team is reacting positively to the challenge of Agustin, who took over from Jeff Cariaso at the end of the Philippine Cup campaign.
In fact, the former PBA MVP also revealed the team has sorted out ‘inside issues’ with the help of Agustin and team manager Alfrancis Chua.
These issues had weighed down Ginebra in the past, the former league MVP admitted.
“It’s really a lot more than that. We also had a lot of inside issues within the team, a lot of personal issues with players and players, players and coaches. It came together,” Helterbrand said.
“It turned out to be a really bad season because of all those things, not just on the court but also off the court. There were a lot of stupid stuff that shouldn’t even happen,” he added.
But things have turned for the better, he said.
“That’s over with and we’re trying to move forward and forget about that. We’re trying to bring in a new mentality,” he said. “I want to give a lot props to coach Al (Chua) for bringing the team together as much as he can and for me that’s been missing, and he’s trying to bring that back and bring us closer as team.
"That sounds little but it has an effect on the team in a bigger way."
Here's a podcast of interview with Yeng Guiao and Jayjay Helterbrand: