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NLEX gets first crack at unconventional Kia



Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times NLEX gets first crack at unconventional Kia Basketball News PBA  Yeng Guiao PBA Season 43 NLEX Road Warriors Kia Picanto Joe Lipa 2017-18 PBA Philippine Cup

For years, seven-time PBA champion coach Yeng Guiao has been known to be unconventional. From the way he shuffles his players to his hard-nosed defensive schemes, Guiao has always worked outside of the norm.

But a controversial trade between the Kia Picanto and the San Miguel Beermen during the tail-end of the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup shook the conventional. Kia shipped the first overall pick in the 2017 PBA Draft for San Miguel’s bench players.

“Don’t get me wrong, Christian Standhardinger is a great player. The boy has big potential,” shared Kia team manager Joe Lipa about the trade. “It just so happened that our philosophy is to play an unconventional type of basketball. As much as possible, we would like to play beyond the book. Example, we would like to shift to our philosophy which is there will be no positions.

“We would like to be competitive that’s why we thought of this idea of playing unconventional basketball.”

Playing with a chip on their shoulder is what makes Kia dangerous believes Guiao. And even with a loaded line-up that features the likes of Kiefer Ravena and Kevin Alas, the fiery head coach is not going to take things lightly come December 20 at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

“The problem with that is Kia has something to prove especially after the controversy,” said Guiao. “A team that has something to prove is always dangerous and that is something that we have to be careful of. Some people think that Kia is an easy assignment but it’s not.

“I think it’s still going to be better than the team it was last season.”

Guiao has a lot to be worried about Kia as last year, the then-Mahindra Floodbuster defeated them twice last season, 96-106 in the Philippine Cup and 81-89 in the Commissioner’s Cup. With the addition of veterans Jay-R Reyes and Ronald Tubid, the Picanto might have found the leaders they needed to stun the Road Warriors anew.

“Certainly, Reyes and Tubid will be able to help them,” Guiao furthered. “Ang tanong lang naman diyan is sino ba ang mas makakatulong, yung grupo nila ngayon o pag kinuha nila si Standhardinger? But I guess, what is certain is, either way nakinabang ba sila? Ang tanong lang naman is mas makikinabang ba sila pag si Standhardinger ang nandiyan?

“But definitely they will be a better team than last year. That’s what we have to prepare for.”

Moreover, Guiao is in the dark as to what Kia’s “unconventional” style will bring to the game. All he can do is focus on what he can control.

“Hindi pa nga namin nakita kung ano yung unconventional na sinasabi nila. We are also going to be in the dark because that might be the weapon they are talking about,” Guiao shared.

“Everybody is curious kung ano ba talaga yung tinatago nila na unconventional na sistema.”