By REYNALD MAGALLON
NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao was quick to play down his verbal altercation with Meralco mentor Norman Black during the Road Warriors 90-75 victory over the Bolts on Saturday, June 25.
Both coaches figured in a heated exchange at the 6:36 mark of the third following a skirmish between Meralco’s Aaron Black and NLEX’s Michael Miranda. The two coaches were assessed with technical fouls each.
After the game, the two were seen bumping fists during the traditional coaches’ handshake.
Guiao said all is well between him and Black and what happened on the court remains on the court after the game
“Normal naman sa amin yung ganun. Coach Norman and I go way, way back and we had skirmishes but after the game we’re just trying to do our job,” said Guiao.
“He knows me and I know him. He’s been able to tolerate some of my antics and after the game that’s all over so pinagpapasensyahan nya lang talaga ako,” he added.
Asked what the exchange was all about, Guiao would rather keep it between themselves and whatever that has been said and done during the game are all just part of the team’s emotions and desire to win.
“Hindi siguro natin pwede sabihin yun dito no’ but sabi ko nga pinagpapasensyiahan talaga ako ni coach Norman alam naman niya yung temper ko so pasalamat na lang,” Guiao furthered.
Guiao, however, took exception on Cliff Hodge’s hit on Kevin Alas’ face who is already wearing a mask to protect his fractured nose.
“Medyo it got really physical I feel na di necessary yung contact na yun (referring to the Black-Miranda incident) tapos meron pa, yung hit na nakamask na nga si Kevin, alam natin may fracture sa ilong pero parang sinadya ni Cliff Hodge eh so cheap shot yun,” rued Guiao, referring to Hodge’s Flagrant Foul Penalty 1 hit on Kevin Alas at the 6:35 mark the fourth quarter.
“Pero kasama yung sa emotion, naiintindihan namin iyon, gusto nila manalo gusto rin namin manalo,” he added.
Good thing, the Road Warriors prevailed both in the psy-war and the highly physical match as Alas and Don Trollano took charge in the late game.
“It’s an emotional game, we were really struggling sa una buti nalang we made enough stops, I think we can credit our defense for this game today,” said Guiao.
Trollano poured 11 of his 19 points total in the final 12-minutes of the game while Alas also scored eight of his 14 markers during that stretch which also went with five assists and three steals.
JR Quinahan scattered 16 markers on a 2-of-2 clip from the distance – none bigger than the dagger triple he drilled to push the lead to 16 points, 87-71 and put the fight out of Meralco with 2:31 left in the game.
Justin Chua and Calvin Oftana also provided solid contributions with 15 and 12 points respectively for the Road Warriors who also came out on top of its psy war against the Bolts.
NLEX 90 – Trollano 19, Quinahan 16, Chua 15, Alas 14, Oftana 12, Rosales 5, Miranda 4, Ighalo 3, Soyud 2, Paniamogan 0, Semerad 0.
Meralco 75 – Newsome 17, Hugnatan 10, Black 9, Hodge 7, Caram 7, Maliksi 7, Jose 6, Banchero 5, Quinto 4, Pasaol 3, Belo 0, Baclao 0.
Quarters: 23-25; 47-42; 65-58; 90-75.