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How Yeng Guiao's move from NLEX Road Warriors to Rain or Shine Elasto Painters shook up the Nieto household

Yeng Guiao's sudden move from NLEX Road Warriors to Rain or Shine Elasto Painters sees him go from working with Mike Nieto to twin brother Matt Nieto. PBA Media Bureau

More often than not, Nieto twins Mike and Matt are two sides of one coin.

This time is no different.

Mike, the older of the two, has his spirits lifted way up there in the clouds. The younger Matt, on the other hand, is feeling down - but not out, make no mistake.

And it's all because of one development: Yeng Guiao's move from NLEX Road Warriors to Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.

As the fiery, multi-titled mentor re-united with Gabe Norwood, Beau Belga, and the Elasto Painters franchise he once led to two PBA titles, he left behind the Road Warriors who reached their greatest heights with him at the helm.

Times have changed, of course, and this is not the Rain or Shine that was led by Paul Lee and still had Jeff Chan and JR Quiñahan, among others. Guiao will still be coaching a Nieto, though -- only this time, two-way off-guard Mike rather than heady point Matt.

"Naisip ko agad, first and foremost, si Matt. Siyempre, siya unang nakaranas ng Yeng Guiao na head coach," recalled Mike about his reaction to the transfer that was formalized a week ago. "Ako naman, I really got excited. Coming from coach Tab [Baldwin], a legendary coach in college, tapos ngayon naman, iconic coach sa PBA. Sobrang saya."

There was, indeed, one word to describe the day they learned one's coach was now the other's: bittersweet.

"Of course, nagulat. Walang signs na aalis siya e. 'Di ko alam ano gagawin tapos lahat kami (sa team), malungkot," narrated Matt, who played alongside Mike under Baldwin in Ateneo de Manila University before being drafted by NLEX. "Pero ganyan ang basketball. We have to be ready for everything, and we just have to accept what happened."

To help him move on from the loss of his PBA mentor, Matt is helping his twin get to know a new mentor for himself.

"Dami ngang tanong ni Mike e. Ang kulit," he shared, through chuckles. "Sabi ko lang sa kanya, marami kang matututunan. Swerte kayo kasi yungexperience ni coach, maraming matutulong sa young team like Rain or Shine. For Mike naman, it's another opportunity to be a better basketball player."

Without a doubt, Matt is correct. With Guiao and his nearly-automatic contending coaching philosophy and system uprooted from the Road Warriors and planted with the Elasto Painters, this is Mike's best chance at his first quarterfinals - and perhaps, even further.

"Yun nga, sabi lang ni Matt, ang swerte ko at ng Rain or Shine as a whole to experience coach Yeng," he remarked. "Ni-remind lang niya ako najust be you, just be the player that you are.

"Hopefully, maging positive naman yung madadala ko sa system ni coach Yeng."

So far, that has been what Mike has felt and done. After a few practices under their returning shot-caller, Rain or Shine is energized. Norwood's springs in his legs got oiled. Belga's fire and desire got re-ignited. Even James Yap is taking time away from his duties as San Juan City councilor to restart practicing.

"Nung una, kaming mga bata, na-starstruck pa rin kahit papaano. Yeng Guiao yun e! High school pa lang kami, pinapagalitan na niya sina kuyaBeau," shared Mike, with a laugh.

"Basta ang pini-preach ni coach sa amin, lahat kayo, bibigyan ko ng chance. Siyempre, pag nandyan na angchance, you have to grab it kasi pag hindi, 'di ko na mali, 'di ko na kasalanan."

Good thing then that the elder of the Nieto twins is actually already well-versed in a free-for-all, equal opportunity system. That's what he played in his five years as a Blue Eagle. That's what led to a three-peat for the blue and white.

At the same time, Matt is reminding himself that while Guiao may be gone, his lessons remain. Being ready. Seizing the day. Giving it all.

"Coaching style niya, starters and closers niya, paiba-iba. 'Di mo alam kailan ka ipapasok, kaya ang natutunan ko, just be ready," detailed Matt. "Pagpasok sa court, quality minutes dapat. Never wasting time. 'Di pwedeng mahina ang loob dahil sa kanya."

And while Guiao may be gone, the Road Warriors remain upbeat about their chances. Yes, even though they are yet to name an official replacement -- with Adonis Tierra getting the interim tag, for now.

"Nakakailang practice na rin naman kami under coach Adonis. We're getting there kahit nung una, siyempre, nakakapanibago," described Matt. "Pero we're all trying to lift each other up. Kami-kami mag-start ng fire ulit. Move on na. Control what you can control."

Yeng Guiao's move from the Road Warriors to the Elasto Painters brought about a seismic shift in the PBA.

And as he goes from one Nieto to the other, so did he bring about a seismic shift in the Nieto household.