NLEX coach Yeng Guiao gave his new team a taste of his unorthodox coaching style as left the player to fend for themselves with the game against Star all but settled in the PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday night.
All over his players early on, giving them an earful after pointing out their mistakes, the Road Warriors coach appeared to let go of the reins with an eternity left in the fourth quarter as he refused to preside over timeout huddles, instead staying on one side of the bench.
After a long meeting with the rest of his staff inside the dugout, Guiao gave an explanation.
“It’s partly frustration, but more than frustration, its’ really teaching them how to take care of themselves and not relying on other people to bail them out,” Guiao said after the 75-99 loss to the Hotshots.
“It’s a little unorthodox, but that’s been the way I’ve been teaching my players ever since, sa lahat naman ng na-handle ko na team,” he added. “So marami pa silang makikitang ganun, marami pa silang mararamdaman na ganun, and marami pa silang sigaw at murang maririnig sa akin, hanggang matuto sila."
“It’s something they will learn very quickly,” the firebrand mentor added. “And also, it’s part of the character-building process. We’ll take these losses, but I’ll make sure they remember the losses. I’ll make sure also they’re able to contemplate, maisip nila sa sarili nila kung ano yung mga pagkukulang nila dun sa mga sitwasyon na yun.”
After all, the Road Warriors looked disjointed as they failed to solve the Hotshots’ defense that forced them to commit 31 turnovers.
“It’s a mental exercise not just for me but for them also,” Guiao said. “When they go home, they have to think very hard about the situation, not take it for granted.”
And expect more tongue-lashing from the champion coach as the Road Warriors try to recover after absorbing a second straight loss after an opening-day win.
“Konting sabon pa, pabulain pa natin ng konti,” Guiao said with a smile. “I think they should feel that and that’s part of the pressure that they have to handle. I have to put that pressure on them in order to make them feel that professional basketball is about playing under pressure and delivering under pressure.”
“That’s how you build the toughness, mental toughness particularly,” he added. “Ganun naman ang alaga ko sa mga players ko. I told them it’s up to them. ‘If you cannot handle this, the door is wide open. If you can handle this, then maybe you can learn something.’”