NLEX bigs Mike Miranda (left) and Raul Soyud (right) battle for the rebounds against Mo Tautuaa of San Miguel. (PBA Images)

SMART CLARK GIGA CITY–Veteran coach Yeng Guiao has been known for developing big men in the PBA. 

During his tenure in Rain or Shine from 2011 to 2016, Guiao made Beau Belga and JR QuiƱahan–the feared duo dubbed as the “Extra Rice, Inc.”–immovable forces under the basket and deadly shooters from the perimeter and even beyond the arc. 

Now in NLEX, Guiao has been seeing big progress from Raul Soyud and most recently Mike Miranda, both of which are by-products of the fiery mentor’s mouth.   

Miranda erupted for 22 points built on a perfect 8-of-8 field goal shooting and 2-of-2 conversion from the line in the Road Warriors’ 124-90 beatdown of a weary San Miguel side Friday at the AUF Arena. 

“I’ve been very harsh to Mike, I’ve been very harsh to Raul and even to (Will) McAloney but it’s paying off,” said Guiao, whose squad strengthened its playoff bid with a third straight win for a 4-5 slate.

The former Gilas Pilipinas tactician admitted that he needed to groom Miranda, Soyud and now rookie McAloney into reliable men inside the paint after dealing Poy Erram in a three-team trade earlier this year. 

“We really have no choice. We lost Poy so the others need to step up. Finding good big men is really hard because they’re a prime commodity. ‘Pag magaling na big man, sigurado pinag-aagawan ‘yan,” he said. 

“You have to create your own big men. You have to be able to develop and train them. And they really have to work hard. These guys are just ones who really work hard, willing to adapt and embrace the system.” 

“Tiniis nila ‘yung harshness ko sa kanila.” 

Good thing for the seven-time champion coach, he has veterans Asi Taulava and QuiƱahan to aid him in training the younger bigs. 

Source: Manila Bulletin (