December 01, 2023

Yeng Guiao bets big on young guards, lukewarm on Maverick Ahanmisi reunion

Yeng Guiao bets big on young guards, lukewarm on Maverick Ahanmisi reunion

Rain or Shine Elasto Painters coach Yeng Guiao just gave his young guards the ultimate vote of confidence—and all but shut down rumors of Rain or Shine potentially going after Maverick Ahanmisi.

Ahanmisi, who is now an unrestricted free agent after failing to strike a deal with the Converge FiberXers, played his rookie season under the fiery mentor, who picked the then 24-year-old guard in the talent-rich 2015 PBA Draft. The two, incidentally, won a title together, as the Elasto Painters won that season’s Commissioner’s Cup crown.

But Ahanmisi and Guiao eventually went their separate ways in the years since—only to find their paths possibly intersecting once more as the former continues his search for a team.

Just don’t expect Guiao to make overtures to his former pupil.

The multi-titled coach, in an interview with the PBA, doused cold water on the rumors that Rain or Shine has emerged as a potential landing spot for Ahanmisi, who blossomed into a star last season after posting per game averages of 13.7 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 3.8 assists for Converge.

"Wala kami doon, mga speculations lang iyon," said Guiao, who appears to have a valid reason not to add another guard to Rain or Shine’s roster.

"We have young guards we feel we can develop. We will be patient with them," Guiao explained. "Kaya hindi kami nakikigulo doon."

And, indeed, the Elasto Painters have some young, talented guards, notably budding star Rey Nambatac, flamethrower Andei Caracut, heady playmaker Gian Mamuyac, and streaky shooter Anton Asistio.

Still, Guiao didn’t totally close the door on Ahanmisi.

"Kung siya lalapit, possible," said Guiao. "Kasi tao ko rin naman iyon, wala kaming masamang pinagsamahan noon.”

The door is ajar. But will Ahanmisi come knocking?