Guiao feels for Abanilla, but says it’s…
By WAYLON GALVEZ
Manila, Philippines – Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao thinks that his former assistant Gee Abanilla did a good job in the two conferences he called the shots for Petron Blaze, but nonetheless believes replacing a coach is always a prerogative of any team.
However, based on his own experience, a coach should be given enough time to handle the team and let the players develop and grow together, which is the same thing he has done with the Elasto Painters where he is now on his fourth season since joining the franchise back in 2011.
“There’s no substitute for a prolonged period of playing together,” said Guiao.
Since he took over the coaching post at Rain or Shine, Guiao has transformed the squad into a perennial contender in every conference, winning the franchise’s first ever title in the 2012 Governors’ Cup and reaching the Finals for the third time in this conference.
Abanilla, who once served as Guiao’s assistant with Red Bull, was reassigned last Monday as team manager of Petron, which will revert to the name San Miguel Beer starting in the Commissioner’s Cup, while longtime assistant coach Biboy Ravanes was elevated to head coach.
Under the tutelage of Abanilla, the Boosters came close of winning the title in the previous Governors’ Cup where they lost to the Mixers in a seven-game series.
In this season’s Philippine Cup, Petron started hot with a 7-0 record but dropped three of its final seven games to finish with a 10-4 card and the No. 3 seed going to the playoffs.
After sweeping Barako Bull in their best-of-three quarterfinal series, Petron lost to Rain or Shine, 4-1, in their seven-game semifinal showdown.
“I thought he was doing a good job,” said Guiao on Abanilla. “But it’s not easy to coach a strong team, a team with a lot of superstars, a team with so many key main players. Probably, the expectation was too high.”
“But that’s their call, that’s the prerogative of the team, and we respect it,” added Guiao.