YENG Guiao and wife Jenny should have been London-bound by now, out to celebrate the graduation of their eldest child who just finished her masters degree at the prestigious Cambridge University.
Unfortunately, the couple had to alter their travel trip at the last minute.
No thanks to Rain or Shine failing to close out the PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals on Friday, Guiao and his wife had to reschedule their departure for Europe a day or two as the fiery mentor needed to be on the sidelines for Game Five of the best-of-seven title series.
The Elasto Painters fell early against the Alaska Aces and came short of their comeback in a 111-99 Game Four loss that cut their finals lead at 3-1.
A sweep could have been a perfect send-off for the couple, who were supposed to be scheduled to fly out of the country on Saturday.
“We’re trying to catch our daughter’s graduation pero hindi kami aabot. Ganun talaga,” said Guiao. “Pina-rebook na lang namin. Siguro yung konting pahinga na lang ang hahabulin namin.”
The re-booking was immediately done shortly after the game, according to Mrs. Guiao.
So how did she do it?
"Sinama kong manood yung travel agent namin” she said with a hearty laugh. “By the time na matatalo na yung team, sabi ko sa kanya, i-rebook mo na kami.”
The process didn’t come cheap, naturally.
“Ang mahal nga ng re-booking, grabie. Hindi ko na nga sinabi kay Yeng (kung magkano),” said Jenny.
Nonetheless, two of Guiao’s children - Jomig and Tintin - had come to London ahead of them to cheer up Atty. Cecilia Therese Guiao, 30, as she marches on stage after finishing her masteral degree in International Relations.
The Rain or Shine coach feels very proud of her eldest child, nicknamed ‘Niner,’ who graduated from the University of the Philippines College of Law, emphasizing her achievement is the fulfillment of her parents’ dream.
“You feel proud that she’s graduating from a very prestigious school. Iba talaga pag nagmana sa utak ng nanay,” he said smiling.
“Gusto ko ring grumaduate sa Cambridge, pero sa Cambridge (Street) Cubao ang nangyari, hindi sa UK,” added the multi-titled mentor. “It’s a proud moment. I’m just really sorry that I wasn’t able to make it there.”
And why the monicker ‘Niner’?
“Siya kasi Nov 29 (pinanganak), ako March 19, ang daddy (the late former Pampanga governor Bren Guiao) ko July 9, so three generations kami, lahat kami puro nine,” Guiao related. “Bumagsak sa kanya yung panghuling nine. Kaya tinawag naming ‘Niner.’ Lucky 9 kasi.”
Rain or Shine certainly needs more than luck if it is to wrap up the series against Alaska in the next game and win the franchise’s second title in four years.
And what if the Aces extend the finals and force a Game Six?
“Pag hindi natapos ng Sunday, baka hindi na kami umalis,” a smiling Guiao said.