Yeng Guiao wants NLEX to play fast against a bigger Ginebra squad
"Ginebra is more of a deliberate, half-court setup team, so we want to really emphasize the contrast of our style, we want to run up and down the court and make use of our quickness.”
Following a hot 2-0 start to the All Filipino Conference of the 43rd PBA season, the NLEX Road Warriors find themselves in on a four-game losing skid.
Saturday, the Road Warriors will try to snap their streak, but it won’t come easy as they’ll be taking on the 3-3 Ginebra Gin Kings on Saturday’s lone matchup.
For NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao, one of the keys to taking down the Gin Kings will be containing their twin towers, especially on the rebounding department.
“Ginebra is, if not the biggest team, one of the biggest teams, with Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar.” Guiao told ABS-CBN Sports. “What I mentioned earlier is giving up extra possesions on offensive rebounding, that’s going to be even more highlighted with this game, so we must work a lot harder keeping Japeth and keeping Slaughter out of the offensive boards.”
A tall order for NLEX’s bigs, as Slaughter and Aguilar are averaging a combined 17.8 rebounds per game, not to mention do-it-all guard Scottie Thompson, who’s pulling down nearly ten boards of his own, per game.
Speaking of Thompson, Guiao also touched on Ginebra’s backcourt as another focal point of their defensive gameplan. Aside from scoring threats, Guiao pinpointed Thompson and LA Tenorio as Ginebra’s main offensive facilitators.
“Defensively, we have to be able to contain LA and Thompson. It’s not just because they are able to score, they are able to facilitate for their team, it’s the overall game that they play, so the challenge is for our guards to keep them below their average, assists-wise and scoring-wise.”
Sophomore playmaker Thompson is putting up over eleven points and six assists per game, while Tenorio has a per-game average of 14.3 points and 5.8 assists.
The main thing that Coach Yeng wants to implement however, is NLEX’s fast-paced attack, which he wants to utilize against the Gin Kings’ half-court set offense
Armed with quick, explosive guards like Kiefer Ravena and Kevin Alas, the Road Warriors have the right tools to implement a rapid-fire game against Ginebra.
“We feel that we need to get back our running game, especially against Ginebra. Ginebra is more of a deliberate, half-court setup team, so we want to really emphasize the contrast of our style, we want to run up and down the court and make use of our quickness.”
NLEX and Ginebra face off at the Cuneta Astrodome. Tip-off is at 5:00 PM.