YENG Guiao feels an urgency for NLEX to win its PBA Philippine Cup game on Friday at the Philsports Arena.
And its not necessarily because he' ll be up against his former team Rain or Shine.
With NLEX on the decline, Guiao said it's a must for the Road Warriors to get their act together and try to arrest their four-game skid as early as possible. It just so happened the Elasto Painters are up next for his new team.
"I know merong side issues, but I don' t want to look at the game and be personal about it," said Guiao after the Road Warriors concluded their practice on Thursday afternoon.
"May history ako sa team na yun. I spent a lot of good years with them," he added about the franchise which he helped lead to two league championships.
The 7 p.m. encounter will be the first meeting between Guiao and the Elasto Painters since the two parted ways in one of the most stunning developments during the offseason.
Guiao, who led Rain or Shine to six finals appearances in a five-year stint that made him synonymous with the franchise, left the team to take the NLEX job, paving the way for his trusted lieutenant Caloy Garcia to ascend to the Elasto Painters top job.
The veteran mentor refused to label the encounter as a grudge match.
"There's no grudges at all between me and Rain or Shine. There's no hard feelings. Only good feelings," he said.
More or less, he likened the meeting to his first game against former Rain or Shine star player Paul Lee, who's now with Star after the Elast Painters traded him for James Yap also during the offseason.
"It's something like nung nakalaban namin si Paul," said Guaio of the game which the Road Warriors lost. "The only difference is that this is now on a bigger scale because it involves the whole team and not just a single player."
Looking at the way the Elasto Painters (3-2) are playing now, the multi-titled coach still recognizes much of the system which he initiated with them. He described the highly-anticipated match as playing a 'mirror image' of NLEX.
"We really prepared hard for them because we need to start winning," he said. "I don't want this to be a distraction and a personal issue because it only put necessary pressure on myself and the team."