Guiao, NLEX send Blackwater run to end of the road | Inquirer Sports

Guiao, NLEX send Blackwater run to end of the road

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 05:15 AM September 27, 2018

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Yeng Guiao returned to NLEX for the first time in close to three months and aside from making the Road Warriors look like legitimate threats in the PBA Governors’ Cup, his coaching snapped the tournament’s longest winning streak and sent Blackwater crashing back down to Mother Earth.

With Larry Fonacier shooting the lights out from afar in the second half and the Road Warriors playing defense like there was no tomorrow, NLEX tore Blackwater to shreds Wednesday night, 124-106, to stay in the upper half of the elimination round standings at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

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The win also sent the Elite to their first loss in five games, snapping the franchise’s best-ever conference start and knocking them out of the lead, which idle Phoenix Petroleum now holds.

“I was excited to coach, to get the feel of the PBA again,” said a smiling Guiao, who left the team for a spell to call the shots for the Philippine team in two international tournaments. “Madami akong natutunan (I learned a lot coaching internationally) and you want to apply what you learned.”

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“And it seemed to work,” he said.

Guiao’s game plan for the Elite was to make Blackwater import Henry Walker work for his points and take out the local support.

NLEX also connected on 20 triples—six of them by Fonacier. That mark was the best by the franchise and equaled the eighth-highest output all-time.

Fonacier hit 6-of-7 tries from beyond the arc in the second half and triggered the NLEX breakaway as the Road Warriors led by as many as 24 points to gather the momentum they  need going into a tough match with Barangay Ginebra next Friday.

“This is a big game because we want to stay in the top four,” Guiao said after his charges rose to 4-2 overall. “And this gives us confidence because we play Ginebra next. You need all the confidence you can get when you play Ginebra [next].”

Import Aaron Fuller also scored 24 and had 20 rebounds and four assists, with Kenneth Ighalo, starting at one of the guard spots, shooting 18.

Walker was held down to just 16 as Roi Sumang scored 24 to lead Blackwater.

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TAGS: Blackwater, NLEX, PBA governors’ cup, Yeng Guiao
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