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Busted Governors’ Cup bid serves as Guiao’s blueprint for NLEX’s future

/ 04:20 AM February 21, 2020

NLEX coach Yeng Guiao draws optimism about the future of his team—which is set to lose key center Poy Erram—from a recent heartache.

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The Road Warriors went 8-3 in last season’s PBA Governors’ Cup and copped the No. 1 seed, and the twice-to-beat protection that went with it, only to lose back-to-back to NorthPort in the quarterfinals.

“If anything, that was a good sign for us,” the fiery mentor told the Inquirer. “We were able to beat the top teams,” he said. “We lost that triple-overtime game [against NorthPort]. But if there’s ever any way to lose, it’s that—losing while fighting.”

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That game, according to Guiao, was “indicative of the character” of NLEX.

The Road Warriors were without Erram in the second game of that quarterfinal series.

“Had he been there, we could’ve grabbed a couple more extra rebounds. We wouldn’t have gone to overtime,” Guiao said.

But even without Erram, who will eventually land at TNT after a brief layover at three-team conduit Blackwater, the Road Warriors fought gallantly before failing to clinch a semifinal berth.

And if Guiao needs to go through a tournament—and a future—without Erram, he wants to “get things over with” as soon as possible.

The Erram trade is currently held up at the league office, which wants a few changes to the package to ensure fairness for the three teams involved.

Two insiders have told the Inquirer that the league has asked for more future draft picks to be thrown in.

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Meanwhile, Ginebra remained tight-lipped on Thursday as the Greg Slaughter drama dragged on for another day.

Several Gin Kings declined to comment on the issue.

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TAGS: Basketball, NLEX Road Warriors, Poy Erram, Sports, Yeng Guiao
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