TALK 'N Text import Richard Howell insisted he never said anything to trigger the shouting match between him and Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao during the dying seconds of Game One of their best-of-five semifinal series on Monday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“Just words going back and forth between me and the coach (Guiao), and he just said some things that he probably shouldn’t say,” Howell told sports scribes shortly after coming out of the team's dugout while being escorted by coach Norman Black, team manager Paolo Trillo and a team utility.
The hulking import walked between Guiao and a referee while the coach was complaining about an out-of-bounds call that went Talk 'N Text's way in the endgame.
Guiao later told reporters the Talk 'N Text import called him a "bi***" in the succeeding inbounds play.
“He called me a bi***. The refs heard it and that was supposed to be a profane language. Kapag ako profane language 'yun," Guiao said.
But when asked if he cursed Guiao just before he was pulled out by Black with less than 10 seconds to go, the former North Carolina State standout said, "No."
“I called him (something)? No. I never cursed him (Guiao). I was walking by, and he said a few things, but I never said something to start an argument,” added the well-built American reinforcement, who finished with 14 points and 22 rebounds to help the Texters score a 91-85 victory in Game 1 against Rain or Shine.
The 6-8 Howell, however, said he just has to learn to control his temper in the series, especially since the Elasto Painters like to play rugged, physical defense.
“That’s (physicality) something I need to work on at myself. That’s a self improvement,” he said. “I need to stay mentally strong and learn to keep the best of the way I play basketball.”
Talk ‘N Text shoots for a commanding 2-0 series lead against Rain or Shine when they collide on Wednesday at the Cuneta Astrodome.