MACAU – Coach Yeng Guiao gets his wish as NLEX meets ETLand Elephants again, this time in the bronze medal game in the Asia League Super 8 on Sunday.
“Talo kami doon ng first game and we feel na you learn something everytime you play the Korean teams. Siguro di lang yung may matutunan ka, mas masarap yung may natutunan ka, tinalo mo pa sila,” he said.
The Road Warriors fell to the Korean side on Wednesday and Guiao believes that his side has learned their lessons from that defeat.
Guiao is confident that the Road Warriors are better equipped to deliver a stunner after turning heads in the eight-team tourney and making it to the semifinals.
“I think we will be more ready,” Guiao said. “The more you play them, the more you get used to that kind of style, the better you can react. Noong una, sanay kami sa style of play sa PBA and your reaction time is split-second delayed. And if you give them a split-second opening, they’ll make their shots. I’m hoping that we can react better defensively.”
Though NLEX bowed to Guangzhou, 75-63 in the semifinals on Saturday, the fiery mentor is pleased to see that with key players missing, the rest of the squad is showing more than enough fight to compete with some of the best teams in Asia.
“In a situation like this, you kinda miss Kiefer (Ravena), Kevin (Alas), Larry (Fonacier), and Alex (Mallari). But again, its also good for these young guys na they’re able to experience something like this,” he said, with the likes of Mac Tallo, Jansen Rios, and Kenneth Ighalo stepping up for those absences.
“We’ll try to win third place and get a podium finish and that’s going to be enough for us.”