By REYNALD MAGALLON
It didn’t take too long for Yeng Guiao to find his way back home.
The seven-time PBA champion coach is set for a reunion with Rain or Shine – the same team he handled for five years and steered to two championships, the team announced Monday, Sept. 5.
Left without a team after his tenure with NLEX came to an abrupt end, Guiao is returning to the same team he turned from a cellar-dweller into a perennial contender under his wings from 2011 to 2016. Guiao signed a three-year contract.
Under the fiery mentor, the Elasto Painters had six Finals appearances, winning two titles in the 2012 Governor’s Cup and 2016 Commissioner’s Cup.
Determined to turn the team’s fortunes around in the 2022 Commissioner’s Cup, Rain or Shine team owners Terry Que and Raymond Yu are glad to have the charismatic but volatile coach back in the fold.
“We talked to Yeng the other day and we finalized the deal today. Yeng is happy to be back but we’re happier that he’s now with us again,” said Yu.
“Happy to see Yeng back in the ROS family,” said Que.
Guiao, known for developing his players and turning them into bonafide stars in the league, will have to weave his magic anew especially handling a young Elasto Painters core that feature the likes of Rey Nambatac, Santi Santillan, Gian Mamuyac, Andrei Caracut and Mike Nieto.
Veterans Jewel Ponferrada, Beau Belga and Gabe Norwood are the only players that have previously played under Guiao during his stint with the team.
Chris Gavina, who handled the coaching chores for ROS since the 2021 season, slid down to the assistant coach role. In his three conferences as the head coach, the Elasto Painters made it to the playoffs only once during the all-Filipino conference last season.
ROS fell short of repeating that in the 2022 Philippine Cup after finishing ninth with a 4-7 record in the standings.