Guiao: Terrafirma would’ve won PBA title by now had it kept its players

Terrafirma’s Juami Tiongson. –PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines—NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao believes Terrafirma would’ve won a championship by now had it held on to all of its talents and assets for the past several years.

Guiao and the Road Warriors nearly fell victim to the Dyip on Wednesday when both teams made their debuts in the 2022 Philippine Cup.

“Magaling talaga yung Terrafirma. We cannot underestimate Terrafirma. Ang lalaki nila, they have the size. May piyesa talaga sila, may mga materyales tong team na to,” Guiao said after NLEX’s 105-102 win at Araneta Coliseum. “Siguro ang importante lang sa kanila yung tumagal yung samahan nila.”

(Terrafirma is really a good team. We cannot underestimate Terrafirma. They’re a big team, they have the size. They really have the pieces, this team has the materials [to win]. But for them, what’s important is for their team to stay together for a long period of time.)

“Parati kasing napipitasan ng player yan eh so kung ‘di lang pinipitasan ng player yan baka nag-champion na yang Terrafirma na yan,” he added.

(If only they have stayed intact, Terrafirma would’ve already won the championship.)

Terrafirma had been at the center of several controversial trades since it entered the PBA in 2014 under the Kia brand.

NLEX coach Yeng Guiao. PBA IMAGES

NLEX coach Yeng Guiao. PBA IMAGES

In 2015, the franchise shipped Troy Rosario to TNT two days after selecting him second overall in the draft in exchange for Kevin Alas and Rob Reyes. But both Alas and Reyes were quickly moved to NLEX.

Two years later, Kia found itself in hot water anew for trading away the rights to the number one overall pick in the draft to San Miguel Beer for Ronald Tubid, Jay-R Reyes and Rashawn McCarthy. Fil-German big man Christian Standhardinger was the top selection in the draft.

In early 2021, Terrafirma handed over its star guard CJ Perez to San Miguel for Matt Ganuelas-Rosser, Gelo Alolino, Russel Escoto and the rights to the 2021 and 2022 first round picks.

Last month, the Dyip raised eyebrows again for swapping their number two overall pick Jeremiah Gray for Javi Gomez De Liaño, who was selected eighth overall by Barangay Ginebra in the latest draft, and Brian Enriquez.

Terrafirma has only made the playoffs once back in the 2016 Governors’ Cup—which remains to be the only time it finished a conference with a winning record.


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