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Jorge Gallent’s philosophy: ‘Have fun and compete’ thanks to mentor Yeng Guiao

Coach Jorge Gallent beat a former mentor of his after San Miguel swept Rain or Shine to book a return trip to the PBA Philippine Cup Finals, Friday night.

The Beermen’s lead bench tactician one-upped Yeng Guiao as his wards sent the Elasto Painters packing through a dramatic win in Game 4, which saw the veteran-laden crew claw back from a hole as deep as 19 points in the third.

“I love Coach Yeng,” he told Tiebreaker Times shortly after the 107-100 victory at the Mall of Asia Arena.

“He’s one of my mentors also.”

Gallent served as one of Guiao’s assistant coaches when the Air21 franchise rebranded and carried the Burger King banner in the 2008-09 season. He was part of a staff that also included Junel Baculi and the late Roehl Nadurata.

It was the cager-turned-coach’s first PBA gig after steering Harbour Centre to a success of dynastic proportions in the Philippine Basketball League.

However, that working relationship lasted so short a time. In March of 2009, Gallent left the franchise and joined the San Miguel bloc.

He took his act to the Purefoods franchise that was then known as the B-Meg Llamados.

Eventually, he would join the Beermen, later on becoming their head coach to replace the multi-titled Leo Austria, who’s currently serving as a consultant.

Fast forward to now and Gallent would see himself beating not just his former mentor but his cousin Caloy Garcia, Guiao’s lead deputy in Rain or Shine.

“Very happy. Plus, Caloy is my cousin, so it was nice to beat them,” he said with a smile.

“But you know, after basketball, it’s just all friendly.”

Asked about what he remembers the most during his time working with Guiao, Gallent said that it was the competitive nature regardless of their situation during games that he has adopted to his own coaching philosophy.

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“Coach Yeng likes to compete. That’s his thing,” he said. “He likes players to have fun — have fun by competing. That’s why his players are like that – ‘Have fun but I want you guys to compete.’

“And when I was there he said even if you’re down or up, you just have to stick with the system para hindi magulo. Those were the two things I’ve learned from Coach Yeng,” added the 55-year-old.

No doubt that he applied as much in the series-clinching triumph, coming back from such a deep hole on the way to yet another Finals appearance.

“Exactly,” said Gallent, who’s eyeing to lead the Beermen to a successful title defense bid in the Philippine Cup to give the franchise their 30th title overall.

“Have fun and compete. That’s from Coach Yeng. I’m just adopting it.”

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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