Guiao still cautious after 4-0 start; Beermen blow out Bossing | Inquirer Sports
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Guiao still cautious after 4-0 start; Beermen blow out Bossing

/ 05:10 AM December 19, 2021
CJ Perez Beermen

San Miguel Beer guard CJ Perez soars for a layup against Blackwater in the 2021 PBA Governors’ Cup. PBA IMAGES

NLEX is on top of the PBA Governors’ Cup with a 4-0 record.

But coach Yeng Guiao doesn’t think that makes his team contenders just yet.

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“It’s too early,” he told a few reporters at Smart Araneta Coliseum after the Road Warriors’ 116-86 bludgeoning of Terrafirma on Saturday.

“What are [four] wins going to do? Put us in a tie for a quarterfinal berth?” he added.

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Guiao said that his guarded optimism is rooted in the fact that some of the teams in the league, especially the favorites, haven’t hit their stride yet in the season-ending tournament.

And later in the night, San Miguel Beer gave proof that Guiao’s concerns are legitimate. The Beermen, who started the Governors’ Cup with back-to-back losses, took advantage of a free pass in Blackwater and hammered out a 107-88 victory.

That was a second straight triumph for one of the tournament favorites, and the Beermen did so by flaunting their depth. CJ Perez had 21 points to lead six Beermen in double figures as San Miguel stretched Blackwater’s all-time record losing streak to 23 games.

“It’s a good thing the players realized the importance of our last two games, especially tonight because we do not want to be a victim of Blackwater,” said San Miguel coach Leo Austria. And just like that, San Miguel is at 2-2, making it more important for NLEX to milk the most of its white-hot start.

“[W]e don’t want to be looking too much at ourselves like we’re in there and already contending [for a championship] at this point,” Guiao said.

But the way the Road Warriors flattened the Dyip sure looked convincing.

Import KJ McDaniels had another solid night, putting up 34 points and 13 rebounds. Kevin Alas added 20 while Calvin Oftana 14 in a contest that NLEX put to bed as early as the third quarter.

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Terrafirma drew 27 points from import Antonio Hester and 15 more from Juami Tiongson as the Dyip slid to 1-3.

It didn’t help Terrafirma that Alex Cabagnot, the Dyip’s new leader, might have torn his achilles tendon.

“We’re still waiting updates from our physical therapist,” coach Johnedel Cardel told the Inquirer on his way out of the Big Dome.

A tear could pretty much shelve the champion playmaker for good, he added.

Guiao, for his part, heaped praises on his charges, saying he feels that “everything is falling into place.”

“Kevin for one has been consistent. Defensively, we’re pleased with how Tony Semerad is guarding imports. Calvin has been playing well, and he doesn’t look like a rookie on the floor. And of course, [I commend the] leadership of JR Quiñahan, Don (Trollano) and Jericho (Cruz),” he said.

“Practically the whole team’s playing well. I think that’s an indication that the chemistry’s good, and that the guys are getting along well with our import,” he added.

The victory matches the Road Warriors’ early 4-0 start back in 2017, when Aaron Fuller backstopped the squad.

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TAGS: Beermen, Bossing, points, San Miguel Beer
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