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Guiao thrilled to coach Kouame

Yeng Guiao will get an opportunity to coach in the William Jones Cup for the third time in his coaching career and is excited to coach Gilas Pilipinas naturalized player Ange Kouame. (Photo PBA Media Bureau)

Yeng Guiao is excited to coach Ange Kouame when Rain or Shine competes in the William Jones Cup from 12 to 20 August in Taipei.

In a telephone conversation with Daily Tribune, the fiery mentor stressed that he has some former Ateneo de Manila University standouts on the team who can attest to the great attitude of the 6-foot-11 slotman from Ivory Coast.

He said they are not planning to tap additional imports as he believes that Kouame has what it takes to lead them to the title.

“I have two players in my team who played with Ange and they attested his great character,” said Guiao, referring to former Blue Eagles Anton Asistio and Gian Mamuyac.

“We’re okay with Ange and we will use this tournament to make our local players even better,” Guiao added.

Coaching in the Jones Cup is nothing new for Guiao.

In fact, he served as the deputy of Derrick Pumaren when the national squad competed in the Jones Cup in 1989 as part of its preparation for the Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur.

Coaching in the Jones Cup is nothing new for Guiao.

Twenty years later, Guiao coached in the Jones Cup again when he handled the Powerade squad that will be seeing action in the 2009 FIBA Asia Championship.

“I’ve been there twice before,” Guiao said.

“The first time was during the early stages of my coaching career when I was still working as an assistant coach to Derrick Pumaren.”

“The last time was in 2009, the first time I coached the national team while we’re preparing for the FIBA Asia Championship.”

He said the chance for Rain or Shine to vie in the World Cup came as a big surprise as there was another team seriously eyeing the opportunity.

“It was through the contact of (team executive) Boss Edison Oribiana on why we were chosen to represent the PBA and then we did the necessary steps of asking permission from the PBA,” Guiao said.

“But I’ve heard they were also talking to another team, so we’re fortunate enough to be chosen.”

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