By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The architect behind the Rain or Shine Elastopainter’s culture of grit and toughness is back.
After his contract with the NLEX Road Warriors expired and no head coaching extension was offered, coach Yeng Guiao, one of the most celebrated coaches in the history of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), is back with Rain or Shine.
It was the Rain or Shine management that announced coach Guiao’s return to the franchise after parting ways with the team six years ago.
Under Guiao’s mentorship, the Elastopainters were able to take home the 2012 Governors’ Cup and the 2016 Commissioner’s Cup.
Guiao assumed Rain or Shine’s head coaching post last 2011 PBA season and redefined their image into one of the toughest teams in the league since acquiring Beau Belga, Paul Lee, JR Quiñahan, Jeff Chan, and Jireh Ibañez.
However, Guiao left Rain or Shine when he accepted chief tactician duties for the Road Warriors last 2016 where he also made a lasting impact on the franchise after steering them to two semifinal appearances.
Despite numerous roster shakeups during his previous stint with NLEX, the Guiao-led squad still managed to keep improving and was a perennial contender.
Now in his return, Guiao will have the tough task of reforming the team after missing the playoffs for the first time in four years during the Philippine Cup.
A young core of Rey Nambatac, Santi Santillan, Mike Nieto, Gian Mamuyac, Norbert Torres, and Andrei Caracut will compose coach Guiao’s pool backstopped by veteran big man Belga, defensive maestro Gabe Norwood, and former PBA MVP James Yap.
Guiao will immediately take over head coaching duties as soon as possible with the upcoming Commissioner’s Cup set to kick off within three weeks.