Top-ranked NLEX, undermanned NorthPort dispute semifinal berth | Inquirer Sports
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Top-ranked NLEX, undermanned NorthPort dispute semifinal berth

/ 04:03 AM November 27, 2019

Michael Qualls NorthPort NLEX PBA Governors' Cup quarterfinals

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We need to get our intensity back.”

That was the simple and honest assessment that NLEX coach Yeng Guiao said his Road Warriors lacked after they were pushed to a deciding game by undermanned NorthPort in their PBA Governors’ Cup quarterfinal series Monday night.

“You could see their intensity right from the beginning. We couldn’t keep up. We couldn’t match their energy and that has happened twice already (against the Batang Pier),” said Guiao, who huddled with his staff for over an hour after the top-ranked Road Warriors took a 115-90 loss at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

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And the remedy to that, said Guiao, also seems simple enough. Doing it would be the hard part.

“NorthPort has been playing and shooting really well [in our] last two games. If we do not step up defensively, the same thing would only happen again,” Guiao said of the things they need to do in the 7 p.m. contest also slated at the fabled Big Dome.

Guiao also expects import Manny Harris—usually lethal but was limited to just 12 points in the loss—to come up with a better performance.

“[That’s] the worst game (he’s played),” he said of his sweet-shooting reinforcement. “[But] I don’t think he’s going to have another game as bad as that.”

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Ultimately, Guiao admitted to his wards barely having any experience in this pressure-packed stage, deeming Monday night’s woes as “a maturity problem.”

Interestingly, the Batang Pier, despite their young history in the league, will be bringing their tough lessons from a Commissioner’s Cup bid that was cut short.

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Pido Jarencio’s crew botched two chances against San Miguel Beermen during the quarterfinals of the previous tournament, perhaps explaining their aggressive form in this season-ending conference.

“This is only the first half (of our goal),” the animated coach told reporters. INQ

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TAGS: Basketball, NLEX, NorthPort, PBA

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