NLEX coach Yeng Guiao hopes to avoid playoffs complications in must-win game vs Star
Yeng Guiao says an NLEX win in its final eliminations outing against Star eliminates complications in its road to the playoffs. Dante Peralta

ANTIPOLO City - Yeng Guiao considers NLEX's final game against Star as a must-win if it is to clinch a Top 4 slot in the quarterfinals of the PBA Governors Cup worry-free.

The Road Warriors failed to nail an outright twice-to-beat edge in the playoffs Wednesday after losing a close game against TnT Katropa, 112-107, at the Ynares Center here.

NLEX lost grip of the lead it shared with defending champion Barangay Ginebra following the setback as the team fell to solo third place with a 7-3 record.

Guiao said the team's final outing against the Hotshots on Sept. 24 will be a very crucial one in its bid for a Top 4 finish going to the playoffs.

"It's going to be complicated. They might need to go to the quotient system," said Guiao about the scenario of the Road Warriors losing their game against the Hotshots.

"And when you go to the quotient, it's like a lottery. Parang swertihan na lang."

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Still, Guiao likes where his team is right now despite the loss to the Katropa.

"What's important is that we have control of our own destiny. We don't want to go to a quotient system," he said.

Even the loss to TnT - the outcome of which wasn't in the bag until the final 10 seconds - would be beneficial to NLEX in the long run.

"I think we learned a lot in making decisions, keeping our composure, and being able to sustain out mental toughness," said the champion coach.

"I don't think it as a big disappointment."

Right now, Guiao said the focus is on winning against Star and assuring a Top 4 finish heading to the playoffs.

"We don't care if we finish No. 1, No. 2, No.3 or No 4, basta we finish in the Top 4," said Guiao. "We don't care, too, who we play in the match-up, basta nasa Top 4 kami."

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