Bad habit of losing big leads, ‘a coaching challenge’ for Guiao

Rey Joble

Posted at Jul 05 2022 09:24 PM

NLEX coach Yeng Guiao. PBA Images
NLEX coach Yeng Guiao. PBA Images

For three games in the ongoing PBA Philippine Cup, the NLEX Road Warriors were able to dominate teams, including superior squads like Governors' Cup champion Barangay Ginebra and last season’s runner-up, Magnolia.

They dominated and led by a comfortable margin for the most part against the Gin Kings and the Hotshots — only to lose steam in the end.

The Road Warriors did escape once of the three times they squandered a big lead against the Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters in a game where NLEX lost a 19-point advantage in the first period, but found itself flirting in disaster in the endgame.

But NLEX had talented sophomore Calvin Oftana to thank for as the former NCAA MVP bailed the team out by hitting two triples in the last 18 seconds of regulation to drag the Fuel Masters to overtime and the Road Warriors held on to escape a 114-108 triumph.

Its bad habit of not protecting its big lead and losing down the stretch cost the Road Warriors two of their three losses in the PBA Philippine Cup.

Against the Gin Kings, NLEX established a 19-point lead in the third period, but allowed the league’s most popular team to come back.

In the endgame, the more experienced Ginebra squad showed much resolve to win.

The Road Warriors suffered a similar experience against the Hotshots when after taking a 15-point lead in the first half, NLEX suffered a meltdown in the third after being outscored by Magnolia Timplados, 33-12.

NLEX never recovered from there as the more determined Magnolia side outplayed coach Yeng Guiao and his troops. 

Guiao offered no excuses and held himself accountable for all those losses.

“We’re slowly developing bad habits and for me, it’s a coaching challenge,” said Guiao. “I hold myself accountable for the big part of those losses. I take full responsibility for those losses.”

“But we’re trying to address it and we want to move forward, knowing we have crucial games in front of us.”

The Road Warriors return to action on Thursday as they face the Converge FiberXers beginning 5:15 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.