YENG Guiao agrees that Manny Pacquiao can, no doubt, generate a buzz never before seen in the PBA once Kia Motors makes its debut in the league next season.
But what happens after that?
That was the question tossed by the outspoken Rain or Shine coach when asked about Pacquiao's controversial entry into the PBA coaching ranks and how it could impact the boxing hero's image - and that of the league.
"I think Manny Pacquiao will be good in terms of generating interest for the league," the multi-titled Guiao said during an appearance at Spin.ph's Viewing Series for the NBA Finals at the New Orleans Cafe.
"I'm sure a lot of people will be interested to see how he fares as a coach or as a player in the PBA," Guiao added.
Guiao, however, warned that a point of concern for the Pacman camp should be on how he, as a coach, and his Kia Motors team will fare after the novelty of seeing the boxing champ in another field has worn off.
Like any other PBA coach, Pacquiao, just like in boxing, will ultimately be measured by his performance as well as that of his team inside the court, Guiao said.
"Ultimately, he will need to show results," Guiao said of his fellow congressman.
As it is, Guiao already has serious doubts on how Kia and two other expansion teams can put up competitive teams considering the limited concessions given to them by the league board.
Unlike previous expansion teams, Kia, Blackwater, and NLEX were denied direct-hire privileges or the chance to pick first from the rookie pool. Instead, their biggest source of players will be a dispersal draft under a 'Protect 12' scheme for the existing 10 teams.
Guiao, who had built champion teams for expansion franchises RFM Swift, Red Bull, and Rain or Shine, raised the concern that the new teams face years of failure because of the "counter-productive" concessions.
Already, Pacquiao, considered the country's biggest sports hero, has been getting a lot of flak online from fans who feel he is making a 'mockery' of the league and its players.
On Wednesday, the criticism came unexpectedly from longtime ally and personal adviser Lito Atienza, who hit out at Pacquiao for "allowing himself to be used by people with vested interests."
“I believe that Manny is making a big mistake in joining the PBA. It also shows how seriously he is treating his duties as a congressman and as a boxer. He says he will fight this November and yet he will start coaching in the PBA in October. Where are his priorities? Too bad, he does not know when he is being used by other people,” Atienza told the Inquirer in an inerview.
Guiao's Rain or Shine team, meanwhile, is coming off a 51-point win over Alaska, 123-72, in the most lopsided game in the pro league over the last 28 years - a match which Guiao said "comes just once every 25 years."
Asked if a new record is bound to come much sooner now that new teams like Kia are set to join the pro league starting next season, Guiao broke into a smile.
"No comment," he said grinning.