Alex Mallari on playing under Yeng Guiao: 'The good outweighs the bad'
Alex Mallari savored more freedom under coach Yeng Guiao in his NLEX debut. Jaime Campos

ALEX Mallari looks to take advantage of the same freedom on the offensive end he had with Mahindra that he’s now having at NLEX under coach Yeng Guiao.

Mallari made his debut for the Road Warriors on Friday when he immediately had as many touches as he wanted, putting up 11 points on 13 attempts, along with seven boards, and two assists, against three turnovers in 22 minutes in the 114-108 loss to San Miguel Beer.

And the lefty point forward credits that freedom – as long as its warranted – to Guiao.

“First impression, I like it,” Mallari said of his fiery mentor. “He gets mad when you don't take open shots, equal opportunity.”

“I always hear great things about coach Yeng, and everything was true. I also hear bad things, and they were also true,” he added with a chuckle. “No, no, but the good outweighs the bad.”

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Guiao could already see that his prized trade acquisition is starting to adapt to his system.

“Alex, I think, is still trying to get the hang of it, but he was not bad in the second half,” Guiao said. “In the first half, medyo nangangapa pa siya.”

After all, Mallari heated up in the final canto where he scored seven of his output to lead their late rally that fell short.

“I’m just trying to get that championship mentality,” Mallari said. “Zero and eight is no fun, sometimes it might creep in your head like, ‘How are we even gonna get out of here?’ That's poison.”

“But come next conference, everyone's zero-zero, so we're just looking to build for next conference,” he added.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos