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Mike Nieto admits being in tears after saying farewell to Yeng Guiao

Although he understands that it’s part of the business, Mike Nieto couldn’t help but become emotional upon receiving the news that he had been traded by Rain or Shine.

The 25-year-old admitted to crying when he was told about being sent to Converge for a pair of future second-round picks, which ended his stint with the club that selected him fifth in the special draft in 2019.

“I’m really close to my Rain or Shine family. Actually, iniyakan ko si Coach Yeng nung nangyari ‘yun, kasi napalapit na ‘ko e,” he said.

“Napalapit na ‘ko kay Coach Yeng. Si Coach Yeng, naging unang anak si Matt, tapos ako,” he added as brother Matt played for Guiao during the latter’s time with NLEX. “But mas matagal ‘yung pagsasama nila ni Matt kesa sa akin.”

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Still, Nieto has nothing but gratitude for the entire Elasto Painters organization, and he will forever cherish the relationships he built during his time there.

“I’m really grateful for the chance na binigay sa akin ni Rain or Shine,” he said. “All the lessons, all the experiences ‘yung bonding namin nina Kuya Beau [Belga], nina Kuya Gabe [Norwood], hindi ko makakalimutan ‘yan.

“And of course, ‘yung mga kalokohan namin nina Mamu (Gian Mamuyac). But I’m really excited for what’s to come, dito kina Coach Aldin [Ayo].”

Now, he’s looking forward to building a future with his new team, which got off to a good start following a solid performance that helped the FiberXers begin their PBA On Tour stint victoriously on Friday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

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Starting in the game, Nieto finished with a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds as they handed Terrafirma a 119-82 defeat.

“I’m really happy, at least maganda ‘yung napakita natin,” offered the Ateneo product, who also dished out three assists.

“But at the end of the day, kung ano ‘yung kailangan ni Coach Aldin sa’kin, ‘yun ang paninindigan ko.”

Among those who witnessed his impressive outing were his former RoS teammates, who playfully teased him while watching from the bleachers. The team also played later that night against NLEX and emerged victorious.

“I think that’s the result of being close with them,” offered Nieto. “Kasi hindi naman nila ako lolokohin kung hindi ako nakabuo ng relasyon.

“Namimiss ko sila. Loko-lokohan lang pero deep inside, I will always cherish and hindi ko makakalimutan ‘yung mga pinagdaanan namin.”

Written By

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

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