NLEX coach Yeng Guiao spared his players from a tongue-lashing, but nonetheless relayed the importance of character building as the team suffered its third straight loss in the PBA Philippine Cup at the hands of Blackwater, 96-85, on Wednesday night.
After losing his cool infront of his players at the end of their blowout loss to Star last Wednesday, the fiery mentor mellowed down a bit after the defeat to the Elite.
“Ayoko masyadong daanin sa ganun (cariño brutal),” Guiao said after emerging from the dugout following another long talk with his wards and staff. “Sometimes you also have to consider a sermon fatigue, baka magka-fatigue naman sila. Sometimes you just have to step back and relax a little bit, let them ease some of the tension.
“Although we had a long talk now, hindi ko naman sila pinagsisigawan, hindi ko naman sila pinagmumura,” he added. “I just delivered a long speech about having character and playing smart in the games.”
Guiao was still disappointed after only a few Road Warriors stepped up in the absence of injured big men Asi Taulava and Rico Villanueva and shooting guard Garvo Lanete.
“(Their absence is) not an excuse,” Guiao said. “I felt that that was only a chance for the rest of the team to get extra minutes and prove themselves. Hindi naman ibig sabihin na pag naglaro sila (Taulava and Co.), mananalo kami.”
“To me, it's a blessing in disguise because it was a chance for the other guys to gain experience, to gain confidence and prove themselves and learn some things, even in a loss like this,” he added.
True to his unconventional fashion, Guiao turned to rookie Fonzo Gotladera in the place of Taulava and gave other relievers extended minutes.
Most of the minutes went to waste.
Guiao, though, can see his team’s effort, but still lamented some his team’s decisions as they continue to seek chemistry as a unit.
“The guys are really trying hard, but probably in anything that's new, there will be some adjustments,” Guiao said. “But I don't want to make use of that as an excuse because some other teams also have new systems, they have new coaches, they have new players, but they're not struggling as much as we are.”
“So we just have to take on the responsibility na baka mabagal lang talaga kami matuto,” he added.