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Garcia admits bittersweet feeling about beating former mentor Guiao

By Ivan Saldajeno

PASIG--Rain Or Shine coach Caloy Garcia admitted that facing former mentor Yeng Guiao in an official PBA game is a tough nut to crack.

"It's difficult. May pinagsamahan kami nang matagal. Right now, I feel emotional about it," Garcia told reporters after the Elasto Painters battled for the first time against their former gaffer, who is now with the NLEX Road Warriors, on Friday night at the PhilSports Arena.

What made the clash even more emotional is that the ROS camp sees Guiao, who steered the franchise to both of its two PBA titles, as a father figure.

"He's been like a father to us, not only to me but to the whole team. Kaya pag nakikita mo siyang nasasaktan, parang nasasaktan ka rin," continued Garcia, whose E-Painters squad turned back Guiao's Road Warriors side, 107-97.

About boosting the mental and the emotional toughness of the squad, Garcia further said that he told the players to treat the game as if it is just a normal day in the office.

"I told them not to focus on [taking on Coach Yeng] and focus on winning," he said in particular.

He even admitted that he had to scold them at the locker room during the halftime break after NLEX took a 58-48 lead.

"Actually, noong halftime, nagalit ako. I told them, 'You're not playing like the old Rain Or Shine team. Parang takot kayong gumalaw,'" continued Garcia.

Good thing for Garcia, he still as Jireh IbaƱes to stabilize the club.

"The reason why we caught up is when Jireh entered the game. His defense was the one that oriented our offense. I think that was the big plus factor," Garcia quipped.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno