Asi Taulava benching in NLEX loss to Ginebra not an issue, says Yeng Guiao  
Yeng Guiao said mismatches had something to do with the benching of veteran big man Asi Taulava in NLEX's game against Barangay Ginebra Wednesday night. Jaime Campos

NLEX coach Yeng Guiao refused to make a fuss about benching Asi Taulava on Wednesday night, saying it was merely to avoid mismatches against Barangay Ginebra in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup matchup.

Coming in averaging 10.3 minutes in his first six games, the veteran slotman rode the bench the entire game – the only player to not see action – in the Road Warriors’ 101-92 loss.

“It’s not a problem. It’s not going to be an issue,” Guiao insisted. “He’s been settling down in his role. Sometimes, he will play ten or fifteen minutes for us. He’s been settling down as a player who comes off the bench, maybe sometimes he will start.”

“But he’s also ready to make that sacrifice if we feel that we will have some matchup issues,” he added, saying the Gin Kings’ big men, led by Justin Brownlee, are quicker than him. “We cannot match him against the import, against Japeth (Aguilar).

“The most probable would be to match him against (Joe) Devance, but Devance will step out and he will be able to shoot the three-point shot, so I’m sure he understands,” the champion coach continued.

Guiao said he has plans on how to utilize all his players.

“They’re ready for situations that might come up like situations na maaring hindi ka magamit,” Guiao said. “Although it’s very rare na Asi wil sit it out and will not play a single minute. But I didn’t also want to use him on garbage time because I think that would be disrespect to him.”

With Taulava on the sidelines, the Road Warriors suffered a seventh straight loss and 11th overall dating back to last conference – the last three by an average of just 3.3 points.

“We would be decent nga eh kung yung tatlong games namin na dapat nanalo eh naipanalo namin,” Guiao said.

“I think you have to be a little philosophical about it; may plano yung Diyos na hindi namin alam,” he added with a chuckle. “Siguro we have to go through this and also we have to realize that before you are rewarded, you are humbled first. This is the humbling experience we need to go through.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos