NLEX may be at the top of the PBA Governors' Cup standings, but the Road Warriors are somewhere in the cellar when it comes to experience.
That's what keeps Yeng Guiao worried entering the playoffs.
“Among all the top teams in the league right now, kami ‘yung may pinakakulang sa experience,” the veteran coach said. “As a team, this is the farthest we’ve been in terms of standings.”
The Road Warriors beat Magnolia, 86-85, after storming back from 26 points down to improve to a league-leading 8-1 card.
Yet Guiao is under no illusion that the team can match up talent-wise against the traditional powerhouses of the league.
“No. Never. That’s the worst thing you can think at this time. We are still a team that is learning. We are a still a team na kulang sa experience. Pagdating sa talent, hindi naman kami ang most talented team ngayon,” said Guiao.
Guiao described his team as a group of “rejects” from other teams.
“Kiefer (Ravena) is practically a rookie. Nung rookie year niya, hindi siya nakapaglaro, naputol. Jericho (Cruz), tinapon lang ng Talk ‘N Text ‘yan. Si JR (Quinahan), tinapon din yata ng NorthPort ‘yan. Puro surplus lang ‘yung mga piyesa namin dito.
“Si Philip Paniamogan, Bong Galanza, mga reject lang ng PBA ‘yan pero nagpapakita sila. Si Ighalo nga, nung nag-trade kami, sinama lang si Ighalo sa amin. Parang lollipop lang siya na isinama sa deal. Libre. Tuwang tuwa ako ngayon sa nilalaro.
"Mike Miranda nga, reject din ng Talk ‘N Text ‘yan. Siyempre matutuwa ka bilang coach. Mga piyesa mo, surplus pero ‘yung sasakyan mo, tumatakbo ng maayos ... Puro reject at surplus ‘yang mga ‘yan, pero ‘yung puso nila, brand new. ‘Yun ang maganda.”
Guiao said the come-from-behind win over Magnolia will go a long way in the young team's continuing education entering the playoffs.
“We need tests like these to toughen us up and build our character,” said Guiao.