NLEX coach Yeng Guiao vowed to shake things up in practices to break a four-game slide in the PBA Philippine Cup.
With their all-Filipino conference campaign hanging in the balance in a crucial clash against Ginebra, the shake-up paid off well for the Road Warriors with a much-needed 81-78 victory at the Cuneta Astrodome on Saturday night.
“Ginawa na namin yun. We don’t usually practice in the morning but today we did some shootaround and we did some walkthroughts. That’s unusual for us because we usually want to get rested before the game,” Guiao said in his post-match press conference.
“But we did that today just to shake things up, just to have a different routine,” he added.
Guiao’s veteran Larry Fonacier can attest to those changes and it showed in his performance as he topscored for the Road Warriors with 17 points on 7-12 shooting.
The former national team gunner shared that their practices have been intense and that resulted into a much tougher Road Warriors side in this game.
“We're in desperation mode. Practice pa lang, we were fighting for our lives, for our season. I guess it just translated today, everyone didn't want to go down to 2-5 so that was too dangerous of a place to be in,” said Fonacier.
“All of us wanted to fight. When you get into a four-game losing skid, everyone's confidence is down. We just needed to fight for our confidence again and hopefully, this win will give us some momentum going into our next games,” he added.
Despite the great result, Fonacier believes that there’s still a lot of work to be done as they look to climb up the standings and get their bearings back to make it to the playoffs.
“We just gotta practice harder. We gotta shoot more, we just need to practice together as a team. We haven't been together enough to really be cohesive. We're getting there,” Fonacier continued.
“These are growing pains. There are a lot of new guys in the team, they have to go through this and so as veterans, we stay patient with them and hopefully, outcomes like these will come more often.”