NLEX coach Yeng Guiao admitted his team’s final offensive play against Star on Friday night didn’t turn out as designed as the Road Warriors wound up suffering a 105-103 loss.
Rabeh Al-Hussaini took matters into his own hand instead of finding import Wayne Chism, going for a hook shot over the Hotshots import Tony Mitchell that missed and led to Jio Jalalon’s game-winning jumper for Star on the other end.
“We really wanted to get the ball to Rabeh to attack the import who had five fouls, but my instruction to him was that’s going to be the decoy play and he has to kick it out to our import,” Guiao disclosed after the game.
“Pero nasarapan yata eh, bigla niyang tinira,” he added with a chuckle. “Pero ganun talaga. Those things happen. But I gave him a piece of my mind. I told him I would rather lose on my own account rather than somebody not following instructions.
“But on the other hand, you also know that he’s not afraid to take the blame, so that’s also a good sign,” he continued.
Guiao had plenty of positives to take away this time as the Road Warriors managed to erase a 21-point deficit and had the chance to steal the game from the undefeated Hotshots before absorbing their fourth straight loss.
“It’s still the best game we’ve ever played so far,” Guiao said. “I’m disappointed we lost, but you have to appreciate the effort the guys put into this game, especially being behind by (twenty-one) points, and this is a strong, unbeaten team, so I’ll try to be positive na lang about the whole thing.
“At least we’re seeing some improvement,” he added. “We’re seeing some heart and some fight in the players, which was not there before.”
Guiao looked upbeat that he’s not even closing his door on a postseason stint for his team.
“I hope it’s not too late,” the champion coach said. “We’re just looking to give ourselves a chance at the playoffs, but we can probably win a few games if we’re able to stay all the way ‘til the endgame.”