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Yeng Guiao early ejection ‘blessing in disguise’ for NLEX in crucial win

NLEX Road Warriors. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao’s early ejection against Alaska on Wednesday may have just been what the Road Warriors needed after all.

The Road Warriors steamrolled the Aces, 91-70, thanks in large part to a 14-5 run that immediately came right after Guiao got tossed at the 5:19 mark of the second quarter.

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That key stretch allowed NLEX to pull away, 50-36, as they took total control for the rest of the way.

READ: PBA: Even with Yeng Guiao thrown out, NLEX still overpowers Alaska 

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“It turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Coach Jolas (Jojo Lastimosa) did an excellent job taking over from plus the guys stepped up,” Guiao told reporters after the game.

“But really it was really our defense that did it for us. I was pretty confident that even if I was not there, as long as we execute the game plan, we’ll be okay because the team was really well prepared defensively against Alaska.”

NLEX’s defense held Alaska to just 29 percent from the field, including 5-of-23 from long range.

Guiao added the timing was also right for NLEX, which played Alaska on one of its worst days.

READ: Yeng Guiao ejected in 2nd quarter of crucial NLEX game

“We played good defense and we caught Alaska on a really bad night,” he said.

“We played probably our best defensive game on their off night so that’s what happens.”

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Guiao also said NLEX had an extra motivation to win since its CEO Rod Franco just celebrated his 60th birthday.

“We really wanted to win one for him and I’m sure he’ll be happy with the win,” he said.

It was also a crucial victory for the Road Warriors, who are desperate to provide their quarterfinals bid a much-needed push.

NLEX improved to 3-5 and tied Meralco in ninth place with only three games left.

“Today’s game could be a good sign because we really need to win the next three games so we need this confidence boost to be able to have a chance.”

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TAGS: 2019 Philippine Cup, Alaska Aces, NLEX Road Warriors, PBA, Yeng Guiao
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