February 28, 2024

Upgrade the PBA? Yeng Guiao has a few ideas

Upgrade the PBA? Yeng Guiao has a few ideas

The top six seeds in the PBA Governors’ Cup playoffs belong to the two major conglomerates. The number one seed TNT Tropang Giga, fourth-seeded Meralco Bolts, and sixth-seeded NLEX Road Warriors are part of the Manny V. Pangilinan umbrella. On the other hand, the no. 2 San Miguel Beermen, no. 3 Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, and no. 5 Magnolia Hotshots are all brands under the San Miguel Corporation.

Some fans might like that while some might not. There are also those who do not care.

Not Yeng Guiao.

“I’m rooting for the independent teams. Gusto ko maiba ‘yung picture, gusto ko maiba ‘yung itsura ng quarterfinals or ng semifinals,” the veteran coach said on the show Power and Play, which is hosted by former PBA commissioner Noli Eala.

The interview with Eala, unsurprisingly, went to the never-ending conversation of parity in the PBA. Guiao, whose Rain or Shine Elasto Painters have been eliminated in the season-ending conference, did not mince words.

“Sinasabi ko, bakit doon sa sistema natin sa PBA, instead na nagkakaroon ng parity, ‘yung mga nasa baba lumalakas, ang nangyayari 'yung mga nasa taas, lalo pang lumalakas,” he said.

“Kaya nga tayo nagda-drafting na ‘yung pinakamahina, ‘yun ang nauunang mag-draft. Kaya nga dinesign ‘yan na ganyan para lahat magkaroon ng opportunity to strengthen their lineups. Pero hindi ganyan nangyayari. Alam naman nating lahat, hindi naman sikreto ‘yan.”

How to fix that? The 63-year-old tactician says it has to start with changes on the rules regarding the Commissioner, whom the Board of Governors vote to appoint—and remove.

“Kapag may ginawang hindi gusto ng Board ‘yung commissioner, ilang boto lang ‘yun tanggal ka na,” he added. “Kasi kung ganito pa rin, kahit sinong commissioner ilagay mo dyan, kahit ‘yung [Santo] Papa ilagay mo dyan.”

“I think that’s where it should start. Kailangan talaga mag-usap ‘yung Board.”

Aside from reforming the Commissioner’s office, the two-time PBA Coach of the Year thinks the league needs to address the salary cap rule.

More so as overseas leagues like the Japan B.League and the Korean Basketball League continue to become a viable option for top Filipino talents.

“Nakakalaban na natin sa pagbigay ng sweldo ‘yung mga Asian leagues,” said Guiao. “Pag ‘yung player, kung ako ay binigyan ng offer ni Japan nang maganda tapos ‘yung mother team niya hindi makapagbigay dahil sumusunod sa salary cap, tali na ‘yung kamay mo.”

Perhaps it’s these limits why some teams are allegedly not adhering to the salary cap at all.

“It’s an open secret na hindi naman lahat sumusunod sa salary cap. Open secret naman ‘yan e,” the coach said.

And maybe that’s a sign that the salary cap is flawed.

“Bakit hindi na lang natin tanggalin or hindi na lang natin i-review? Taasan natin ‘yung salary cap or tanggalin na lang natin? Para makasunod lahat,” Guiao added.

Reforms for the PBA has long been a hot topic among players, coaches, and fans alike. Guiao, for several occasions now, has already spoken his heart out. It remains to be seen how his suggestions will work and eventually help upgrade Asia’s oldest pro league.