Guiao develops another talent in Michael Miranda | Inquirer Sports

Guiao develops another talent in Michael Miranda

By: - Reporter / @MarkGiongcoINQ
/ 05:35 PM March 08, 2018

Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

The ouster of JR Quiñahan down the stretch was supposed to be a huge blow to NLEX.

He fouled out with still 3:20 left and Alaska had just taken an 81-80 lead in Game 2 of the PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals.

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But the Road Warriors didn’t miss the absence of Quiñahan, whose early exit paved way to Michael Miranda’s late-game heroics.

After the Aces took an 83-80 edge with 3:01 remaining, Miranda scored five unanswered points that put the Road Warriors in the driver’s seat for good.

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“Of course there was pressure. It was a crucial part of the game,” Miranda admitted in Filipino. “But coach really had no choice at that point. He doesn’t have anyone to pick on the bench so he called me.”

Guiao ended up making the right choice.

Miranda hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 83 at the 2:47 mark before sinking a couple of clutch free throws for an 85-83 spread with 2:06 to go.

He finished with 12 points and three rebounds in 20 minutes and 36 seconds off the bench.

The 6-foot-5 big man spent most of his first two years in the league sitting on the bench, but now he’s just grateful to have found a coach who was more than willing to give him an opportunity.

“Back then, nobody noticed what I can do. Coach Yeng told me that he’ll give me a break so obviously, I need to reward his faith in me by helping the team win,” said Miranda, who had 10 points on 5-of-5 shooting from the field with three rebounds and a block in NLEX’s 105-99 win in Game 1 on Monday. “We all know coach Yeng. He gives everyone the opportunity to play.”

Guiao is known for making names out of unheralded players and maximizing their capabilities.

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Miranda is no exception and he’s gained not only Guiao’s attention but also Alaska coach Alex Compton’s praise.

“I think Miranda was just a potential just aching to expose himself if given the chance. He really rewarded the team by making the most out of the chance given to him,” Guiao said. “It’s the story of a lot of players. A lot of players languishing on the bench. But when you give them a break, they will step up and prove themselves. That’s just an example of Mike Miranda.”

“That’s two straight games he played well against us. He should be an encouragement to all young players that don’t get a big break right away,” said Compton.

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TAGS: 2018 Philippine Cup, Alaska Aces, Alex Compton, JR Quiñahan, Michael Miranda, NLEX Road Warriors, PBA, Quarterfinals, Yeng Guiao
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