NLEX achieved its goal in Macau, says Guiao
MACAU—The NLEX Road Warriors will leave Macau bringing only what they went with when they left Manila.
Neither medals nor a trophy will be with the Road Warriors when they arrive at NAIA after they lost in the bronze medal game 67-62 to a Korean club in the Asia League Super 8 Sunday at Macau East Asian Games Dome.
There are no awards given to fourth placers but NLEX coach Yeng Guiao believes the Road Warriors achieved part of their objectives when they went to Macau to play against professional teams from China, Japan, and Korea.
“This was a good chance for the players to be together and create a bond and camaraderie among themselves, especially with the new guys,” said Guiao. “Certainly, we accomplished our goal this tournament.”
Guiao has been known to develop seldom-used bench players or unheralded draftees into–at the very least–viable role players in the PBA like Jonathan Uyloan and JR Quiñahan to name a few and help reach his players’ potential like what happened to Beau Belga and Larry Fonacier.
Uyloan was a relative unknown before he eventually developed into a pesky defender and reliable shooter for the Elasto Painters.
Quiñahan and Belga bounced around teams at the start of their respective careers but became household names under Guiao and was eventually given the nickname “Extra Rice Incorporated” due to their bulk and sheer size.
Fonacier was the No. 14 pick in the 2005 Draft but became his batch’s best rookie under the tutelage of Guiao in Red Bull.
And Guiao seemed to have found new projects in Kenneth Ighalo and Mac Tallo.
The two shone in Macau in place of Kiefer Ravena, who’s serving a suspension for doping, and the injured Kevin Alas.
“We’re missing our core but we gave a good fight,” said Guiao. “We missed guys like Larry, Kevin, Kiefer, and Alex (Mallari) but it’s still good because this was an opportunity for the newer guys and the younger guys to learn some lessons in the international games.”
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