Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao has seen it all in the PBA. So, whenever he speaks about his observations of the league, people listen. Guiao recently had people’s attention again when he decided to take a subtle jab at PBA teams that many believe are not being totally honest about their main purpose in the league.
“The problem is, in one or two years, maybe the teams drafted [in the first round] might go to [powerful] teams,” Guiao said in front of reporters during last Sunday’s 2023 PBA Rookie Draft at Market! Market! (h/t Ralph Edwin Villanueva of the Philippine Star).
“If you are serious in competing, this is the time for you to pick your talent and develop that talent. But, if you are not serious, then it is like you are just an incubator,” the multi-title PBA mentor said.
Although Guiao did not drop any team names, he did not really have to. Most PBA fans have a good idea of which franchise fits the description.
Guiao made the comment in light of the Terrafirma Dyip selecting Stephen Holt as the top pick overall at the 2023 PBA Draft. It was not the first time that the Dyip had the top pick. It can be remembered that in 2017, Terrafirma, then known as Kia, traded the No., 1 pick to the San Miguel Beermen for Ronald Tubid, Jay-R Reyes, Rashawn McCarthy, and a future first-round pick. That pick, of course, turned out to be Christian Standhardinger.
The following year, the Dyip franchise selected CJ Perez. Two years later, Perez was traded to the Beermen. In return, the Dyip got Matt Ganuelas-Rosser, Gelo Alolino, Russell Escoto, and a pair of first-round draft picks in 2021 and 2022.
Standhardinger and Perez would have transformed the Dyip into a powerhouse in the league, but head-scratching front-office decisions left the franchise starting from scratch each time.
Guiao doubled down on his stance in an interview with CNN Philippines on Monday when he called out the league again over the trend that, in the eyes of many, is benefiting the strong teams at the expense of parity and the PBA’s brand.
“The problem is, when a player gets better and gains experience then he goes to the strong teams. I think that is something we have to call out. If you don’t call it out you are complicit”.
“Let us respect the fans, they already know what’s really going on. We have to make the league better because other Asian leagues are getting better.”