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Yeng Guiao pays tribute to Alaska franchise: ‘It’s a great team, it’s a great organization’

NLEX did end Alaska’s gallant win streak in the 2021-22 PBA Governors’ Cup, but head coach Yeng Guiao only has nothing but respect for the ball club.

During the post-game press conference of the Road Warriors’ 106-89 victory, the champion mentor took the time to tip his hat to the Aces. The team is currently in their final hurrah as they are retiring from the league at season’s end.

2021-22-PBA-Governors-Cup-NLEX-vs-Alaska-Kevin-Alas Yeng Guiao pays tribute to Alaska franchise: 'It's a great team, it's a great organization' Basketball News PBA  - philippine sports news

Photo by PBA Images

“I’d like to pay tribute to Alaska.

“They’ve been playing very well in spite of the load they’ve been carrying, the burden they’ve been carrying,” he said.

Wednesday’s match was Alaska’s third since the ball club’s announcement that it will be leaving the PBA after 35 fruitful seasons. Their run saw them win 14 championships – including, of course, the Grand Slam in 1996.

Thus, the jolt of inspiration the Aces have shown on the court, especially in their last two games. They first beat Rain or Shine, 80-74, before pulling off an epic comeback from 20 down to defeat Terrafirma, 102-97.

However, they saw that run snapped by the Road Warriors, although they tried to muster a comeback in the fourth. Unfortunately, they ran out of steam.

From being down by as deep as 29 late in the third canto, the Aces managed to cut the deficit to 13, 77-90, behind RK Ilagan and Abu Tratter. But Jericho Cruz and NLEX were quick to arrest the rally, and never let up since.

2016-PBA-CC-Finals-G5-ALA-ROS-Yeng-Guiao Yeng Guiao pays tribute to Alaska franchise: 'It's a great team, it's a great organization' Basketball News PBA  - philippine sports news

But then again, Alaska still has the utmost respect and admiration of Guiao, who actually won his last championship in 2016 at its expense. He steered Rain or Shine to the mountaintop of the 2016 Commissioner’s Cup.

#ReadMore  Maverick Ahanmisi traded to Alaska

Per league stats chief Fidel Mangonon III, that was the only time that the 62-year-old had faced the Uytengsu franchise in the Finals.

And, yes, that was also the only PBA Finals that did not feature any team from either San Miguel Corporation or MVP conglomerates.

“Mahirap maglaro ng uncertain ‘yung future mo, ng mga players. But they’ve been very professional. Coach Jeff Cariaso has been doing a great job,” said Guiao, who’s also the Road Warriors’ general manager.

With this impending departure of one of the best sports franchises in Philippine sports, Guiao said that he will definitely miss Alaska.

“I’ll miss Alaska all these years,” the seven-time champion coach said. “It’s a great team, it’s a great organization.

“The tradition and the culture, and the integrity of Wilfred Uytengsu, I will miss them.”

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Written By

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

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