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Tiebreaker Times


Guiao assesses new acquisitions

Change has finally come for the NLEX Road Warriors in early May, as the franchise was involved in two big trades in a span of just three days. The first trade landed them Alex Mallari and Kenneth Iglaho last May 4, and a blockbuster four-team trade that got them JR Quinahan and Larry Fonacier two days later. And after 13 days, the team’s new pieces were finally able to share the court when they faced the San Miguel Beermen on Friday night.

But still, NLEX fell to San Miguel, 108-114 — the team’s 13th straight loss. As they say, Rome was not built in a day.

“Two games na lang yung natitira sa amin, we really don’t have the chance to make it to the playoffs. So we’re using the next two games, actually the next two months to prepare ourselves to be a little better,” shared NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao, who has yet to win a game since January 7, 2017.

“Di naman a little better, but to be a lot better compare on what we had accomplished on this conference.”

Even after dropping to 0-9 this conference, the 58-year-old mentor saw a lot of positives in the game.

“Also, even if we lost to San Miguel, I think our second half was encouraging,” the two-time Coach of the Year said, as the Road Warriors were able to out-score the Beermen in the second half, 65-54.

“Looking at the stats, we won the second half by 12 points I think plus we have a solid end game. That’s what were lacking before, pagdating ng end game talaga, kung lamang sampu yung kalaban, nagiging bente, kung dikit naman yung laban, kumakawala yung kalaban namin,” Guiao furthered.

“This time, even if San Miguel had a good lead, we were able to cut it down to single digit and not to have too many lapses and be able to outscore them by in the last quarter.”

And it was because of the three acquisitions the team has made. JR Quinahan finished with 12 points, five rebounds, and three assists, while Alex Mallari added 11 points and seven rebounds. Even Kenneth Ighalo, a player seldomly used by the Mahindra Floodbuster, played 16 minutes.

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“I think it’s adjustment period for our new three acquisition but they played well,” Guiao remarked.

“JR did not have too many issues with adjusting cause he knows the system very well. He had a solid performance in the endgame. Alex, I think, is still trying to get the hang of it, but he was not bad in the second half. In the first half, medyo nangangapa pa siya. Ighalo, I think will be a good player, it’s just that he’s not used to play long minutes and he’s not used to a system like ours.”

Larry Fonacier, the other player they acquired in the four-team trade, won’t be suiting up for NLEX until the Governors Cup due to bone spurs.

With the second conference winding down for NLEX, it’s all about the Governors Cup for Guiao and his troops.

“We’re bringing in our import early, maybe last week of May or early June so that we can practice with him early,” the seven-time champion coach closed.

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