PBA: NLEX still clinging to 'flicker of hope remaining'
Philip Matel on Jun 15, 2018 11:19 PM
Even though they were not able to last against the Aces, Yeng Guiao commended his wards for making the game competitive up until the buzzer, a trait he wants to see the rest of the way.
With a 2-7 record, the NLEX Road Warriors' playoff hopes are getting slimmer by the minute.
However, for coach Yeng Guiao, NLEX will still be trying to hold on to a 'flicker of hope remaining,' if they could win their remaining games against San Miguel and Magnolia, and hope for the best to force a tie at the bottom of the playoff picture.
The 11th-seeded NLEX were able to make things interesting in the third quarter, taking a four-point lead briefly against the top-seeded Aces before collapsing in the final quarter.
Even though they were not able to last against the Aces, Guiao commended his wards for making the game competitive up until the buzzer, a trait he wants to see the rest of the way.
"If we're not lucky enough to make the playoffs this conference we’ll play as hard as we can the last two games and we’ll consider that as preparation for the next conference...Baka may ano pa, baka-maka-tie ka pa. Meron ka pang playoffs ano? There's still a ficker of hope remaining, so we will hang to that."
The six-time PBA champion coach was impressed with Mac Tallo's NLEX debut, who contributed 11 points, 3 assists, 3 steals, and 2 two blocks in his first game in six months, recovering from latent tuberculosis.
He also let go of Tallo's blunders, who gave away the ball four times, but he vows to give a strong piece of his mind in the following games.
"We have to demand something better out of his judgment, out of his decision-making, I think that will happen ano? Because MVP to sa Cebu, he's a go-to-guy, he can score, he can pass, he's a creator no for the team. And that's exactly what we need even without Kiefer and Kevin."
As another project seen by the longtime coach, Guiao sees a combination of former Red Bull guard and Cebu teammate Jimwell Torion and the body structure of former league MVP Willie Miller.
"He’s a strong point guard who can withstand a physical game," he said of the comparison for the first-round pick in the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft.
Despite trying to fill the shoes of the backcourt of Kiefer Ravena and Kevin Alas, the NLEX mentor is not putting expectations for Tallo, already entrusting him with almost 20 minutes of playing time.
"Wala akong pressure sa kaniya. I just want his natural game to develop, I just want him to be able to grasp the system of the team and the philosophy. Kaya binabad ko na siya today."
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