NLEX coach Yeng Guiao believes Columbian will be a force to be reckoned in the PBA Philippine Cup.
The Dyip lost their second game in four outings, 107-97, on Sunday night, but not after giving the Road Warriors a giant fright by cutting a 31-point deficit to five.
Guiao has definitely taken notice of the giant leap in the performance of the perennial league cellar-dwellers.
“It’s really hard to put away a team like Columbian,” said Guiao. “We had to had a 31-point lead to win by 10. They just come at you every time and they don’t stop.
"They are relentless. They are going to be a force to contend with this conference. We are just glad nakaraos kami sa kanila.”
The Dyip made a fiery comeback in the third period when they outscored the Road Warriors, 36-17, to cut NLEX’s lead down to nine points, 85-76.
Guiao said Columbian took advantage of its quickness after Kris Porter sustained a busted lip and both Poy Erram and Marion Magat had to sit out due to fatigue and foul trouble, respectively.
“Asi (Taulava) made contributions pero I had to rest Marion because of his foul situation and Poy was really tired. At some point, nagsabay si loob si Raul (Soyud) at si Asi and that was kind of a weakness for us because of the speed of the big man of the other team, plus they can shoot from the outside. Medyo ‘yung span na ‘yun, nag-dip ‘yung laro namin,” said Guiao.
Guiao’s words were music to Columbian coach Johnedel Cardel's ears.
“Siyempre, coming from coach Yeng, he is one of my idols sa coaching. Hopefully, soon, Columbian will be one of the strongest teams in the PBA,” said Cardel.