THE spotlight will be on coaches, not entirely on the players, when Rain or Shine, NLEX and Converge take the floor at the resumption on Friday of the Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Yeng Guiao is back on the Rain or Shine bench as he takes on his previous squad NLEX, now coached by Frankie Lim, in the 5:45 p.m. game.
In the first game at 3 p.m., Aldin Ayo’s smarts gets tested for the first time in the pros when Converge squares off with Terrafirma.
“I still have mixed feelings about this because I still have a strong bond with my former team’s players, coaches, utility and management,” Guiao told BusinessMirror on Thursday. “But my loyalty now is with Rain or Shine.”
Guiao said that he replaced their original choice for import, 6-foot-10 Nigerian Daniel Ochefu, with a more mobile and versatile 6-foot-9 Steve Taylor.
“Daniel is not suited to our style. I’m not saying he’s a bad import, but I believe that he can be effective with another team,” Guiao said. “Taylor is good for us with proper handles, he can shoot and drive in fast paced plays.”
Lim’s appointment at NLEX a few days after Guiao left the team. He will rely on 6-foot-9 Earl Clark, a former National Basketball Association, and recent acquisition, top overall pick Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser.
But Lim, a former San Beda Red Lions coach, said he won’t be calling the shots just yet, but interim coach Adonis Tierra.
“I just have to wait for the go-signal of the management, maybe after a few games,” Lim said. “But I already attended my first day of practice. I just have to wait first.”
Ayo’s success in the collegiate ranks will be on the table.
“Terrafirma is not an easy opponent, no easy team here,” said Ayo, who’s parading NBA veteran Quincy Miller as their import. “They have the experience and the materials, they have a good import and Alex Cabagnot will be returning.”