Yeng Guiao, NLEX part ways

Yeng Guiao has reportedly quit his post as head coach of NLEX as talks of contract extension bogged down – a shocking turn that came after a solid showing from Road Warriors in the Philippine Cup and with only three weeks left before the start of the Commissioner’s Cup.

Coach Yeng Guiao (PBA Images)

Manila Bulletin learned that the fiery mentor already bid his players and coaching staff goodbye, ending his five-year tenure with the team that saw them reach the semifinals twice.

The fiery mentor has been rumored to be making his return to Rain or Shine where he spent five years and won two titles during the 2012 Governors’ Cup and 2016 Commissioners’ Cup.

Guiao, however, according to a source, has yet to make any formal communication with the Elasto Painters camp although ROS owners Raymond Yu and Terry Que would be glad if the veteran mentor will show interest of a comeback.

“The team (ROS) owners, out of decency, will not make the first step because they hold MVP Group officials with high regard,” said a reliable ROS source. “Besides the team is all set for the coming conference.”

It was a mutual decision between the NLEX Road Warriors management and Coach Yeng Guiao to end the agreement,” NLEX management wrote in a statement.

“We thank him for developing the team. In fact, we reached semis twice and this showed how he professionalized the team,” it added.

The 63-year-old mentor came aboard the Road Warriors in 2016 and slowly turned the fortune of the usually cellar dwelling team into a playoff contender under his wings.

Under one of the franchises under the MVP umbrella in the PBA, Guiao, however, couldn’t find the break he needed to replicate the same success he had with his previous teams in Rain or Shine and Red Bull, especially following the departure of some of his key players in recent seasons.

Despite being the general manager of the team, Guiao lost Poy Erram in a three-team trade that saw the lanky forward land to NLEX’s sister team, TNT, in 2020. A year after, another trade caused the Road Warriors to lose its chance to bolster their lineup when the Tropang Giga acquired NLEX’s No. 4 pick in the 2021 rookie draft which TNT used to tap prolific scorer Mikey Williams.

NLEX also lost long-time player Jericho Cruz to San Miguel in free agency while Kiefer Ravena decided to leave the PBA for the Shiga Lakes in Japan B. League.

Despite the departures, Guiao continued to weave his magic in honing his players’ talents turning Kevin Alas as one of his bonafide stars in the Road Warriors along with up-and-coming sophomore Calvin Oftana.

With the two leading the charge, NLEX made a good account of itself in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup before falling short against Magnolia in the Game 3 of their best-of-three quarterfinals series.

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