PBA: Yeng Guiao knows it's hard to survive without their backcourt
Philip Matel on May 30, 2018 08:12 PM
NLEX has no choice but to formulate a contingency plan after Kiefer Ravena's ban, but until now, that is still yet to be made by the coaching staff and team management.
The NLEX Road Warriors have a very tough mountain to climb. After losing guard Louie Alas to an ACL tear in the Philippine Cup, Kiefer Ravena is now suspended from FIBA-sanctioned tournaments until August 31, 2019 for using banned enhancers.
Obviously, it hit the Yeng Guiao-mentored squad hard, as their main playmakers will be out for the forseaable future. Despite all that, NLEX was able to carve out a hard-fought 93-89 win over the now-eliminated Blackwater Elite Wednesday evening at the Big Dome.
Talking to journalists after the game, Guiao was able to let out a virtual sigh of relief after getting valuable minutes from their lesser-used reserves.
"It's a good thing we were able to set aside all the distractions before this game. We felt bad as a team, with the situation of Kiefer. Everybody knows he's a key player in the team and his suspension has a profound effect," Guiao said at the podium.
"We're trying to get something out of everybody. Pinipiga namin yung ibang hindi masyadong nakakalaro dati."
Reserves Emman Monfort, Jansen Rios, and Kenneth Ighalo were able to chip in a combined 18 points, very big in a four-point victory.
As for moving on without Alas, who will be out at least until the start of the 2019 Philippine Cup, and Ravena until September next year, the Road Warriors are very much caught between a rock and a hard place.
Surprised by the sudden and unfortunate turn of events, NLEX has no choice but to formulate a contingency plan, but until now, that is still yet to be made by the coaching staff and team management.
"Nagulat kami, wala naman kaming preparation. Siguro ganoon muna...Mahirap mag-survive without Kevin and Kiefer. But we will talk to management, we will talk to the coaching staff and see how we can salvage the situation."
While the question of will the Rookie of the Year candidate still be able to play for the rest of the year is still up in the air, Guiao has voluntarily decided to not play him, and will let FIBA and the PBA decide regarding the matter.
"We're not yet clarified if he can practice with the team or what other activities he can do with us. We're not yet clarified on that so we're just abiding by the FIBA decision just to play safe and just to keep Kiefer, keep things as painless as possible for Kiefer under the situation."
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