THE mood inside the Rain or Shine dugout on Saturday night was totally different from how it was after the team blew a 24-point lead on the way to losing Game One to San Miguel Beer.
What difference a day or two can make.
If coach Yeng Guiao was fuming mad at his players after the opener of the PBA Governors Cup best-of-five semifinal series on Thursday, Spin.ph was a witness to how the temperamental coach praised all the players for a job well done.
Turning emotional as soon as he entered the dugout, the fiery mentor even addressed his players as his 'idols' after the dramatic 113-110 come-from-behind win that levelled their series at 1-all.
Guiao was choking with emotion when he made his speech in the post-game huddle.
“I seldom consider myself a fan of my players. But after today’s game, I became your fan,” said Guiao.
They Said It!
'Ayan na. Aliens from outerspace have landed! It seems they've abducted Yeng Guiao and replaced him with an impostor'
- Spin reader Eagleman97
The Pampanga first district congressman even threw in a punchline, exempting big man Raymond Almazan who he had ingled out during his halftime sermon, from his ‘idols.'
Guiao told his players he believed that ‘they won Game One’ where they erected a 24-point lead, and accepted the blame for allowing the Beermen to snatch a 101-95 victory behind their zone defense.
“We won Game One guys,” he said as his players sat in stunned silence. “But the problem was I was not able to prepare you well enough against the zone. That’s my fault. When they zoned us, we broke down.”
While he took responsibility for the Game One loss, Guiao this time gave full credit to his players and coaching staff for their own fightback.
“But in this game, I really had nothing to do with the way we won. You won with your heart, you stayed composed, you had the courage,” he said.
“A lesser team would have succumbed to that kind of torrid shooting by San Miguel. They were hitting shots from the half court. They were hitting one shot after another,” Guiao added.
Rain or Shine guard Ryan Arana admitted he was moved by Guiao's speech.
“Grabe 'yun. Sobrang touched kami. Sa tagal kong nandiyan sa team, ngayon ko lang nadinig na nagsalita si coach Yeng ng ganun," said Arana. "Mas lalo kaming ginanahan maglaro ngayon, kailangan mas galingan pa namin every game to further please him.”
“Mas matindi pa sigurong momentum dala namin ngayon. Kasi sobrang nakaka-touch yung sinabi ni coach sa amin kanina. Coming from a revered PBA coach like him, talagang mas inspired kami to win it all for him and the team,” added the former Dela Salle Green Archer.
Watch Guiao’s inspirational talk to his players: