COACH Yeng Guiao will have a new team to coach.
In a shocking twist, Guiao jumped ship and left Rain or Shine to head to the NLEX Road Warriors, who will be looking to turn their fortunes around in the Philippine Basketball Association around.
This development caught many by surprise even as NLEX was actively looking for a mentor that can steer the ailing team to new heights.
Guiao, a seven-time PBA champion coach on three different teams, is also set to receive a corporate job on the side, aside from his coaching gig, under the Manny V. Pangilinan group of companies.
The Road Warriors decided to let go of coach Boyet Fernandez, who was the team’s tactician since it joined the league two years ago. Fernandez, however, was unable to spearhead the team to success.
While Guiao’s coming was a surprise, Fernandez’s ouster wasn’t.
In its two-year campaigns so far in the league, NLEX never came close to reaching the semifinals despite a veteran core. It made the quarterfinals on most occasions before eventually bouncing out of tournaments.
Two weeks ago, reports indicated that Guiao and Rain or Shine were already in talks for a contract renewal but these bogged down.
Right after Guiao’s transfer, the Elasto Painters immediately re-appointed Caloy Garcia as their head coach, a job he previously held before the former Pampanga congressman joined the team.
Guiao left Rain or Shine after coaching the team for six years and delivering the franchise’s first two championships, including the Commissioner’s Cup title this season.
The last time Guiao shifted teams was in mid-2010, when he left then PBA squad Air21 to go to Rain or Shine.
Rain or Shine management wanted Guiao back but eventually, the veteran coach saw a more lucrative offer from NLEX, prompting him to transfer.
Meanwhile, prospective teams for the 2017 PBA D-League Aspirants have until Oct. 28 to submit their letters of intent, tournament director Eric Castro announced yesterday.
Castro also said the league is accepting applications and requirements for Fil-foreign and local born aspirants joining the Rookie Draft. Deadline for submission of requirements is Nov.11, for Fil-foreign aspirants and Nov.18, 2016 for local born aspirants.
The Rookie Daft will take place on Dec. 12 at the PBA Headquarters in Libis, Queon City.
“We’ve been receiving a lot of inquiries from schools and companies expressing interest to join the the league. Right now, we’re looking at a possible field of 10 teams for the Aspirant’s Cup,” Castro said.
School-based teams, Castro said, must submit the names of their new players on Dec. 2 so the league could determine the drafting order.
The PBA D-League Aspirants Cup opens its seventh season on Jan.19, 2017.