Under shadow of a ref’s positive test, NLEX mentor Guiao calms anxieties of team—and league | Inquirer Sports
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Under shadow of a ref’s positive test, NLEX mentor Guiao calms anxieties of team—and league

/ 05:20 AM October 22, 2020
Yeng Guiao

NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao. PBA IMAGES

Coach Yeng Guiao calmed a few worries on Wednesday night—his team’s and that of the league.

An adjustment in their approach to the game helped Guiao’s NLEX Road Warriors snap out of a skid via a 102-88 victory over NLEX in the PBA Philippine Cup at Angeles University Foundation powered by Smart 5G.

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“We changed our attitude,” he told reporters after the Road Warriors’ first win of the conference. “Before, it felt like we were playing from behind, that by this time, three wins [or] we need to beat this team. That wasn’t the case anymore.”

“Now, it’s just ‘play as hard as you can,’” Guiao added. “At the end of the game, if you win, you did something right. If not, go back to practice and correct your mistakes.”

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Guiao is preaching the same no-worry approach, although with a more confident spin, amid reports of the bubble being compromised by a first positive coronavirus test.

“For us, it wasn’t really a big issue,” Guiao said. “Because psychologically, I’m really prepared. I know it’s hard to be 100-percent [virus-free]. Something might go wrong. But the good thing about it is when something goes wrong, you’re still able to maintain control and run it professionally.”

“I’m not really worried,” he added. “I’m not really in a state of panic or whatever. These people know what they’re doing and how to handle the situation.”The PBA and Clark Development Corp. leapt to action immediately after a referee flunked a coronavirus test, putting the PBA bubble under stricter protocols on Wednesday.

The result, the two groups announced in a joint statement, may have been a “false positive” after the referee yielded a negative antigen test. He was also swab-tested and the results will be known in 48 hours. In the meantime, the league has quarantined the referee at Athletes’ Village in New Clark City.

“The referee will remain on strict 14-day quarantine at the Athletes’ Village in New Clark City, and will be subjected to another RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) test to confirm the negative antigen result,” the statement read.

“All of the eight persons listed as the referees’ close contacts were also established and isolated within 12 hours. They will undergo another round of RT-PCR tests on Saturday, Oct. 24.”

The quarantining of close contacts effectively shrunk the league’s umpire pool to just eight officials. But the league wasn’t taking any chances.

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Movements were visibly restricted in the morning just hours before the league’s announcement that a game official yielded a positive result following the mandatory real-time RT-PCR test for delegates last Monday.

Access to the gym, swimming pool and jogging area were also restricted as part of the precautionary measures, which include sanitation.

Journalists who are covering the compressed tournament were also asked to remain inside their rooms, while players, coaches and team staff members were advised to keep their activities at a minimum.

Delegates who frequented the hotel’s smoking area, were also prohibited from the area.

NLEX looked worry-free against NorthPort, with their vaunted backcourt of Kiefer Ravena and Kevin Alas engineering a breakaway early.

Ravena had a team-best 25 points to go with Alas’ 16 points and 10 rebounds.

“I guess we can only get better,” said Guiao, whose wards rose to 1-3 in the compressed tournament, while dropping NorthPort to 0-4.

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TAGS: Basketball, Coach Yeng Guiao, NLEX Road Warriors, PBA Philippine Cup
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