It didn’t take long for Yeng Guiao to come home.
Shortly after parting ways with NLEX, Guiao formally reunited his old employer — Rain or Shine — heading into the Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup starting 21 September.
The Elasto Painters made the announcement, saying that it’s really good to have the seven-time champion coach back on their bench.
Guiao and the Elasto Painters share a lot of special memories.
Guiao, in fact, was instrumental to the success of Rain or Shine since it debuted under the colors of Welcoat Paint in 2016.
He led the Elasto Painters to six finals appearances in which they won the 2012 Governors’ Cup and the 2016 Commissioners’ Cup titles before joining NLEX few months later.
Now, he is coming home to Rain or Shine and is tipped to grace its practice starting Tuesday to handle young players like Rey Nambatac, Santi Santillan, Gian Mamuyac, Andrei Caracut and Mike Nieto.
“Coach Yeng Guiao was the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters head coach from 2011 to 2016,” Rain or Shine, which is owned by Terry Que and Raymund Yu, said.
“He led the team to six finals appearances and two championships; the 2012 Governors’ Cup and the 2016 Commissioner’s Cup. Now, he returns to coach a new generation of Elasto Painters.”
“Only Gabe Norwood, Beau Belga and Jewel Ponferrada remain from the last team Coach Yeng was part of Bayan ng ROS. Let’s show some love and welcome back Coach Yeng Guiao!”
Guiao expressed gratitude to his Rain or Shine bosses, stressing that as soon as Yu arrived from a business meeting abroad on Saturday night, he called him the following morning and met him in the afternoon to formalize his hiring.
“I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Boss Raymund and Boss Terry. I’m grateful with their enthusiasm, said Guiao, who bid goodbye to the Road Warriors on Friday.”
“In fact, when Boss Raymund arrived on Saturday night, he called me the following morning and we met in the afternoon. That’s how fast it was.”
The last time Guiao and the Rain or Shine executives worked together was in 2018 when the PBA tasked the Elasto Painters to represent the country in the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta.
Guiao did a splendid job as he led the squad powered by Utah Jazz swingman Jordan Clarkson to a fifth-place finish behind China, Iran, South Korea and Chinese Taipei.
“We’ve been together for quite long. It feels like déjà vu,” he said.
“I think we’ve been together for around six years and we have a lot of memories together. We’re like a family here.”
With Guiao back on board, the Elasto Painters will slide head coach Chris Gavina to a deputy role while head of basketball operations Caloy Garcia will reclaim his old post as first assistant.
“We talked to Coach Yeng the other day and we’re happy to finalize the deal today,” said Yu, adding that he already talked to both Gavina and Garcia to discuss the coaching changes.
“Yeng is happy to be back, but we’re happier that he is now with us again.”
Still, Guiao tempers any expectation.
“There are no major changes in the system. It’s still going to be similar to what they are doing but just like other teams, there will still be some changes once a new coach takes over,” he said.
“So, I asked the management to be a little more patient in the development of the team.”