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PBA: Humps, bumps slow down Road Warriors

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Games Tomorrow
(Smart Araneta)
4:15 p.m. – Blackwater vs Alaska
7 p.m. – Star vs Phoenix

Two games into the mid-season conference, and it’s still the same old problem for NLEX.

The team’s inability to close out games led to setbacks for the Road Warriors at the start their PBA Commissioner’s Cup campaign, and coach Yeng Guiao is looking for a quick fix to address the team’s lack of endgame experience even if it means tweaking the roster.

“We just have to go back, evaluate and think,” said Guiao after the team’s 91-84 loss to Meralco that dropped the team to 0-2 last Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“We know that it’s a work in progress (for NLEX), but we can’t wait too long… kailangan na siguro may mga drastic measures that we have to take in the next few weeks.”

“We tried to change some pieces during the off-season, pero wala e. I don’t want to trade for the sake of trading and not really have an upgrade. It’s either may upgrade ka or at least, parehas yung materials.”

“Pero kung walang upgrade and hindi parehas yung materials, then why trade,” added Guiao, who did not mention the players involved in the trade talks although sources have mentioned Asi Taulava as the player on the trading block.

NLEX also lost to defending champion Rain or Shine, 105-113, last Friday.

It was the same team that Guiao steered to two championships, including the Commissioner’s Cup during the previous season before ending his stint with the team and joining the Road Warriors.

In his first conference with the MVP-owned franchise, Guiao only won a pair of games out of 11 matches to finish 12th overall – last in the team standings.

The team got solid contributions from import Wayne Chism in the first two assignments of NLEX as he averaged 22.5 points and 19 rebounds, while the locals have stepped up.

Breaks of the game in the final stretch have been the problem for NLEX.

“We were in the game for three quarters. We were playing good offensively and defensively, and then the usual thing happened, we collapsed in the fourth quarter,” Guiao said.

“We still have to find the cure for that. We’ll see how it comes together, we’re hoping it will still come together,” he said.

NLEX will next play Mahindra, another team that has yet to score a win this conference as it fell also to 0-2 to start its campaign. The two teams clash on Friday at the Big Dome.