YENG Guiao admitted calling the shots for Team Pilipinas has somehow started to take its toll on his duty as NLEX head coach.
He made the disclosure as the Road Warriors suffered a 121-111 setback against defending champion San Miguel Beermen for back-to-back losses in the PBA Philippine Cup Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The game was the Road Warriors’ first since Guiao returned with the national team following their successful campaign to earn a berth in the coming FIBA World Cup.
It was also the team’s first game back since an 83-82 heartbreaker against Phoenix last Feb. 8 or before the league took a two-week break for the qualifiers.
“It’s also been a struggle to be out of the country coaching the national team and spending my focus and my time for that purpose,” said Guiao. “(And) that’s also taking some toll on our team.”
Of course, the national coach is not complaining.
“That’s part of the sacrifice that everybody has to make for the national team,” stressed Guiao.
Besides, he’s not taking the credit away for San Miguel’s big win on a night which Guiao said the Beermen had both their inside game and three-point shooting going.
“It was a double threat. We couldn’t contain June Mar at the post, and they also made their outside shots,” he said of the reigning, defending champions.
Fajardo was a dominant post inside with 27 points and 13 rebounds, while complementing the team’s outside shooting that saw the Beermen lit up the board by shooting 20-of-43 from deep down for a high 46.5 percent.
The loss left NLEX with a 2-5 record and in danger of missing the playoffs, needing to win at least three of their last four outings.
But Guiao is not losing hope.
“We’ll try to make the most out of the time we’re able to focus back on our job as NLEX and try to reset our focus just on trying to survive and getting into the next round,” he said.
“We’re just going to look at our next four games and try to win at least three just to give ourselves a chance to make the next round.”