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    Yeng Guiao offered corporate position, not coaching job, by NLEX

    Sep 3, 2022
    Yeng Guiao NLEX
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    YENG Guiao broke his silence on his shock departure from NLEX on Saturday, saying he decided to walk away after being offered a high-paying corporate position and not the head-coaching job of the company's PBA ballclub.

    The veteran coach confirmed he bid his players, assistant coaches and support staff goodbye in practice on Friday after declining the 'tempting' offer, ending his five-year stay at a ballclub where he was both head coach and general manager.

    [READ: Yeng Guiao leaves NLEX as contract talks break down]

    Despite the baffling circumstances around his exit, the seven-time PBA champion coach insisted he holds no rancor toward the company saying he only has gratitude in his heart for Manny V. Pangilinan, MPTC head Ron Franco, NLEX president Luigi Bautista, and all the members of the team's management committee.

    "I said my goodbye to my team this morning and thanked my players, coaches, utilities, and supporters," Guiao told SPIN.ph. "We just wanted to express our gratitude to the NRW organization for all the support they gave me while I was there."

    The 63-year old said he had no idea what prompted the company to go in another direction as far as the make-up of the Road Warriors' coaching staff was concerned, at a time when the team was in the thick of its preparations for the Commissioner's Cup unfolding on Sept. 21.


      Guiao said he was in the final leg of a six-year plan to turn NLEX into a PBA champion and was filled with hope for a young, fighting team led by recent Gilas Pilipinas call-ups Calvin Oftana and Kevin Alas and new import Earl Clark.


      "My only regret was I feel our team was in a breakout situation where it can compete and excel in this conference against the best teams, and it is at such time that I had to leave the team," said the former Pampanga vice governor and congressman.

      "I feel we have the material to be competitive in every position, and our import is good," he added. "Sadly, I can't compete with this team that I put together. But I will be the proudest if they accomplish something this conference."

      NLEX reached the semifinals twice under Guiao's watch, which was time and again set back by deals that saw the Road Warriors lose Poy Erram and a prized first-round draft pick that TNT used to acquire Fil-Am sensation Mikey Williams to puzzling trades, and star player Kiefer Ravena to the Japan B.League.

      [LOOKBACK: Mikey the target as TNT acquires NLEX draft pick in three-team trade]

      The Road Warriors also lost Jericho Cruz - a player Guiao had coached since his time with Rain or Shine - when the unrestricted free agent decided to sign with San Miguel this season.

      Guiao declined to discuss any of the head-scratching moves, only saying, "there have been a lot of circumstances and events that were beyond my control. These events did not conspire to put us in a winning situation."

      "Nonetheless as a head coach, I have to take responsibility for whatever shortcomings the team had. That's part of the responsibility of a coach and I embrace that."

      Watch Now

      [READ: Are you willing to play under Guiao? ROS star Nambatac responds]

      He acknowledged the NLEX offer to take up a role in the company was 'very tempting.'

      "I truly appreciate the offer of NLEX and MPTC management for me to be part of the corporate set-up. They gave me a very tempting offer and it wasn't an easy decision [to decline it since it] gives you and your family security instead of the uncertainty of testing the [coaching] market," Guiao said.

      "But at the end of the day, I chose the path which I feel I would be happier, which was trying to continue to coach," he added. "I'm not ready to retire. I feel I have a lot more coaching years left, and I feel I can contribute more [to a team] with the knowledge, experience, and learnings I've gained over the past years."

      "Through failures and disappointments, that's where you learn a lot. I want to share these with players and teams. I feel I'm a better coach now than I were when I first signed up to coach NLEX six years ago," Guiao continued.

      Yeng Guiao


      Guiao, who has coached six teams in a PBA coaching career that started when his ballclub in the old PABL, Swift, moved up to the pro ranks in 1990, said he hasn't fielded any offers in the short time since he parted ways with NLEX.

      The former Gilas coach said he has no idea where rumors of an impending move to former team Rain or Shine or the MVP group's rival San Miguel Corp. bloc are coming from, but said he will 'seriously consider' any coaching offer.

      "My only plan right now is to make myself available to any interested team and explore the possibilities," Guiao said. "If there are no takers, I will take care of my personal affairs and businesses, and I'm ready to take a vacation."

      Any takers?

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      PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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