YENG Guiao said he no longer saw the need to call the shots for Rain or Shine in the second half of Game Two of the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals series against Alaska on Saturday.
He was actually that confident on what top deputy Caloy Garcia had been doing that he just allowed his trusted lieutenant to handle the team the rest of the way.
“The coaching staff did a good job pitching in for me. It’s not unusual,” said Guiao, who was caught in traffic for five hours that made him miss the entire first half of the Elasto Painters’ 102-95 win over the Aces that leveled at 1-1 the best-of-seven series.
“Every time I’m not there, they play well. Nangyayari naman 'yun,” added a smiling Guiao. “They know the system, they guys know the game plan. Execution na lang naman 'yun. Tapos balasa na lang ng tao.”
Garcia admitted Guiao gave him the blessing to continue coaching the team in the second half, but said the head coach was also giving some input on the bench especially when Alaska was making a serious run in the fourth quarter.
“Tuloy ko na lang daw because the team already had the momentum. Although bandang fourth quarter, nagsasabi na rin siya kung sino 'yung mga papalitan,” said the Rain or Shine assistant coach.
Without Guiao, Rain or Shine raced to an early 55-36 lead at halftime, before stretching it to as many as 63-43 in the third period with the bald-headed coach already on the Elasto Painters’ bench.
The Aces though came up with a huge second half run and threatened the Elasto Painters several times in the fourth quarter, the last in the final 17 seconds when Eric Menk nailed a three-pointer to make it a 100-95 game.
Although he did expect Alaska to make a serious run, Guiao for a while thought of returning to the team dugout, wary the blame would be put upon him if and when the team loses anew.
“Nung lumapit nga gusto kong bumalik sa dugout e,” he said. “Pinigilan ko na lang 'yung sarili ko.”
“But seriously, we kind of expected that run. Nangyayari talaga yun.”