Yeng Guiao walked from Ayala to Araneta to make Game 6
MANILA, Philippines – Rain or Shine Elasto Painters head coach Yeng Guiao watched his team blow another double-digit lead to the San Miguel Beermen in Game 6 on Friday, January 15, which eventually led to their elimination from the 2016 PBA Philippine Cup playoffs.
But seeing his team’s title aspirations disappear may in fact be just the second hardest ordeal Guiao had to endure on Friday.
The 56-year-old head coach arrived to Game 6 when it was already halfway through the second quarter. According to PBA courtside reporter Rizza Diaz on broadcast, Guiao’s tardiness was due to being stuck in payday Friday traffic.
After the game, Guiao confirmed that to make Game 6 in time, he decided to just walk from Ayala in Makati City to Araneta in Cubao City - an estimated 9.1KM distance, per Google Maps.
“Layo nang linakad ko. From Ayala to Araneta,” the 6-time PBA champion coach could only laugh after the game.
(I walked quite the distance.)
Guiao arrived at The Big Dome wearing just an undershirt, and as soon as he joined the Rain or Shine bench, was seen on TV instantly given a tropical fruit-flavored Gatorade drink.
“Kasi nga hindi gumagalaw yung traffic (traffic wasn’t moving), so tried to get to the game in some other ways,” said Guiao who shared he also considered taking a train or cab.
“Mag L-LRT sana ako, kaso ang haba rin nang pila, [at] wala rin taxi. Kulang nalang bumili ako nang motor eh,” said the two-time PBA Coach of the Year winner, even joking that he should have just bought a bicycle instead.
(I was supposed to take the LRT, but the line was too long, and there were no taxis either. All that was lacking was for me to buy a motorcycle.)
‘We messed it up’
While San Miguel advances to the finals against the Alaska Aces, Rain or Shine faces a short rest in between the Philippine Cup and Commissioner’s Cup knowing they blew a 2-1 series lead against the defending champion.
In two of those losses - Games 1 and 6 - Rain or Shine led by double-digits before allowing the Beermen to rally. In Game 6, San Miguel even made its comeback without June Mar Fajardo, who was stretchered out of the arena after suffering a knee injury.
“We just messed it up. We passed up. We bungled our chance to make the finals,” Guiao reminisced.
“We had a break when Fajardo got injured, but we were not able to capitalize on it, so it’s our fault. We cannot blame anybody. We failed to step up to the occasion,” he said, as his team was eliminated in the semis by SMB a second straight conference.
Guiao concedes that his team isn’t ready yet to a win a championship, based on how it played.
It’s worth noting, however, that the Elasto Painters were without both Raymond Almazan and Paul Lee in Game 6.
Almazan has actually been out since injuring his ankle after Game 2, while Lee played only until Game 5.
Nonetheless, Guiao rues that Rain or Shine was unable to maintain its leads during losses.
“Most of the games this series, we led them, and yet we failed to keep the lead, so we’re still not ready for the finals,” he said.
“We’re not ready to win a championship. The best thing we can do is get ourselves ready, maybe for the next conference.” – Rappler.com