Yeng Guiao defends Rain or Shine’s ‘physical’ reputation

Jane Bracher

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Yeng Guiao defends Rain or Shine’s ‘physical’ reputation
'The most basic right of every person is to defend yourself,' said Rain or Shine's coach as his team prepares to challenge San Mig Coffee for the Governors' Cup title

MANILA, Philippines – During a Rain or Shine Elasto Painters game, fans can see the 6-foot-6 Beau Belga covering the paint with all of his 280 pounds. He goes in tandem with (currently injured) JR Quiñahan, a big man with the exact same build as Belga, only he’s 15 pounds heavier. Then on the wing they see “Angas ng Tondo” (“Thug of Tondo”) Paul Lee, a point guard with swift moves, a mean shooting ability, and a rough exterior.  

The 32-year old Jireh Ibañes joins Lee on the outside before he cuts, slashes, drives, or powers his way to the hoop with no regard for whomever he needs to bulldoze along the way. And on the sidelines, you’ve got a highly expressive head coach Yeng Guiao, who will never settle for anything less than what his team rightly deserves. 

Being those kinds of expressive people, the Painters have somewhat developed a reputation, or more aptly a notoriety, for being a highly physical and rugged team in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).  

Guiao finally addressed the identity given to his team.  

“We play physical, we play rugged. It’s been really exaggerated really,” said the champion coach during the press conference for the Finals of the 2014 PLDT Home Telpad PBA Governors’ Cup held on Monday, June 30 at Eastwood. 

“Teams have been paranoid against us.” 

Guiao defended his team and the “bad boys” reputation they’ve acquired over the years as his team tries for a title one last time this season.  

The Painters broke into the Finals picture after barreling through the Alaska Aces in a grueling up-and-down 5-game semifinal series to set a date with Grand Slam-seeking San Mig Super Coffee Mixers, with Game 1 to tip off on Tuesday, July 1. 

“It’s really our reputation, it’s a state of mind,” he explained. 

“But when you go to the game, you just play your natural way of playing the game. And sometimes it’s rough but it’s our natural way of playing the game. That’s how we practice.” 

For reference, Guiao cited the semifinal series with Alaska, where none of his players were called for a flagrant foul. 

Alaska, on the other hand, were whistled for several big fouls. Import Henry Walker was even fined P30,000 for a flagrant foul penalty 2 he incurred during Game 4 of the series as he hit an elbow on the back of Lee’s head. 

“We’re not our there to hurt anyone but if they hurt us, we try to defend ourselves,” Guiao shared his team’s mentality toward the physicality. 

“Because the most basic right of every person is to defend yourself. You can’t not do that.”

Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao (L) and San Mig Coffee coach Tim Cone shake hands before they battle one another over the Governors' Cup title. Photo by Josh Albelda

San Mig Coffee workhorse Marc Pingris couldn’t disagree with Rain or Shine’s penchant for being physical. 

“Alam naman natin sistema ng Rain or Shine and ni coach Yeng pisikal talaga,” he said. “Ready na rin kami.” (We already know the system of Rain of Shine and coach Yeng. We’re ready.) 

As Pingris jokes about this, Belga sits on the far left corner of the room wearing his cap. He shifts on his seat, and so do the rest of the Rain or Shine players who graced the press conference. This is something they’re used to. 

Belga flashes a toothy grin with a hint of disbelief as he proceeds to chuckle at Pingris’ friendly jab. He looks around and appears to want to say the physicality is just a by-product of their basketball system. 

Though his coach said it best for all of them.  

“That’s our philosophy. We just play the way we practice, we just play the way we set our minds to. And we don’t care what other people think.” –

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