NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao was glad to be ‘proven wrong’ by the players he had reservations fielding in the 2022 PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals.
The champion mentor had previously expressed doubts on using Raul Soyud and Michael Miranda against Barangay Ginebra, worried about the Road Warriors’ tendency to slow down with either of the big men on the court.
Both did not see action in the first two games of the series. But with the team’s back against the wall, they were finally let loose in Game Three on Sunday.
And the bruising enforcers showed that they can be relied on, still. They played key roles to help NLEX eke out an 86-85 victory to keep their season alive.
“Laking lift din non. Yung mga bigs namin” said Guiao after the match at the MoA Arena.
“Our bigs showed up today. And they’ve proven me wrong.”
Soyud played for nearly 22 minutes and finished with 11 points. It was easily his best output this conference, as he had never scored in twin digits until Sunday. The 6-foot-6 center also had six rebounds and two blocks.
On the other hand, Miranda — who sat out for a number of matches owing to an injury — supplied four points and three boards, all of which he collected in the six minutes and 11 seconds he was on the floor.
“Gusto ko, mabilis kami nung past two games, that’s why limitado yung gamit ko sa mga bigs namin. Pero ngayon, nung dinagdagan ko ‘yung playing time ng bigs, nanalo kami,” said Guiao.
With this, Guiao said that he now has to utilize both Soyud and Miranda for longer minutes as they aim to win again in Game Four on Wednesday,
“So again, they proved me wrong. Mali na naman ako doon. So kailangan gamitin ko sila mahaba-haba pa.”
The second game of each playdate is also livestreamed on SMART Sports.