ANGELES CITY — A familiar sight was spotted at the packed Angeles University Foundation Arena late Saturday night, and he was seated near the Pampanga Lanterns-ADG Construction bench.
There’s Yeng Guiao, the Team Pilipinas coach and mentor of the NLEX Road Warriors in the PBA, who took time out to support the local team playing against the visiting Cebu Sharks-Casino Ethyl Alcohol.
The multi-titled coach also served as representative of the First District of Pampanga several times and also became vice-governor of the entire province. He did all these while coaching in the PBA.
His visit was also like a reunion of sorts as he was able to shake hands with MPBL commissioner Kenneth Duremdes, his former assistant coach at the Powerade Pilipinas men’s basketball team to the 2009 FIBA Asia Championship in Tianjin, China.
There, inside the court, he was also welcomed by the local folks while his former players at Swift Mighty Meaties also went immediately to where the seven-time champion coach was seated. Guiao, Realubit and Distrito won multiple championships together at the old RFM franchise.
Clearly, Guiao enjoyed the action which brought him at the edge of his seat. Several times, he even stood up in in anticipation of big plays to happen.
“Akala ko ako magiging swerte sa kanila eh,” Guiao told FOX PH right after the home team fell short against the visiting Cebuanos.
Guiao admitted he had seen some of the MPBL games in passing on television, but this is the first time he watched a live game.
“Ito ang laro na gusto ng Pinoy,” he added. “Yung ganitong klaseng bara-bara, larong kalye, ito yung brand of play na gusto ng Pinoy and I think that’s the right formula that makes the MPBL successful. ‘Yung PBA maganda siya, but iba yung level of play doon dahil masyadong structured. Dito sa MPBL, rugged, fast-paced kaya swak sa panlasa ng mga Pinoy.”