By Drei Christopher Villanueva
Even as new NLEX coach Yeng Guiao mulls possible changes to his team’s line up, the fiery mentor made sure to bring in an import who’s very much familiar with his system by bringing in former Best Import Wayne Chism, who played for the multi-titled mentor when they were still with the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.
A Facebook post by team manager Ronald Dulatre validated Chism’s next tour of duty, this time with the Road Warriors where he will be reunited with Guiao.
But while Guiao was poised to bring in someone who’s very much familiar with him, the new Road Warriors mentor didn’t discount the possibility of shaking up the squad following its early exit in the ongoing PBA Philippine Cup.
This is the first time in 17 years Guiao failed to make it past the elimination round.
In the season-ending Governors Cup conference last year, Guiao’s Rain or Shine squad also got eliminated early, the first time the team wasn’t able to make the playoffs under his tutelage in 11 conferences.
Guiao wants to see instant success in the squad even if it means shaking up the roster.
“Anytime that you don’t get your desired results, you must be open to changes. The team also understands that. There’s that pressure on them to perform and in a way, keep fighting for a slot. Nobody is safe now,” Guiao said.
While Guiao knows that his team is going through a process, he wants the squad to perform better in a short time. After all, the Road Warriors ended their campaign with a whimper, with only two wins to show across 11 games in the elimination round.
“We all know this is a process, but we cannot wait too long. I have given practically all of them a chance. Itong mga ito siguro, about half of them were not getting the kind of playing time they should be getting right now. Ang sabi ko sa kanila, gusto niyo ng playing time, ibinigay sa inyo. With the playing time comes the responsibility to prove yourselves. If you cannot prove yourselves, then we have to make some decisions,” said Guiao.
Guiao said he’s not changed his philosophy through the years. His system is designed on giving everybody – even so-called benchwarmers – equal opportunities and chances to prove their worth. Some of those who’ve managed to shine under Guiao’s eye for talent include Beau Belga, Jewel Ponferada and JR Quinahan.
“In all the teams that I’ve coached, the batting average is really good, giving the players the confidence, the training, and then putting use their training, there’s a good chance they can prove themselves. That’s not yet happening. Maybe we have to wait a little longer, be a little bit more patient or maybe, sabi nga sa Tagalog, baka kailangang bumalasa. That’s what we will talk about next week – Are we going to be patient or babalasa tayo?”
Image source: PBA.ph