|For Coach Yeng Guiao, a longer semifinals series may favor NLEX. Dennis Acosta (file photo)|
By Ivan Saldajeno
PASAY--Normally, whether it's a one-game playoff or a seven-game knockout phase series, a coach would want his team to quickly finish off its opponent.
But NLEX coach Yeng Guiao has a different view in mind in the team's first ever PBA semifinals stint.
"Ang objective namin dito is just to stretch this for as long as we can. Pahabain lang namin nang pahabain," said Guiao.
For a one-time national coach and a multi-titled PBA coach with seven titles to his name, three even coming from the Road Warriors' de facto predecessors Red Bull Barako, that's something you would rarely hear from him.
But considering NLEX's young core, where most of the members are in the Final Four for the first time in their pro careers, it's not surprising.
"Even with [Marc] Pingris not playing, underdogs pa rin naman kami, so the experience that you gain playing semifinals for as many times as they've (Hotshots) had is really valuable," continued Guiao. "Napakaimportante ng experience na yun na wala kami as a team.
Following NLEX's 91-79 win over Magnolia in Game 4 on Friday night, the best-of-seven series will surely extend to a Game 6 on Tuesday night now that both teams have two wins each.
But on which team will gain an upper hand entering the said game will depend on Sunday night as Game 5 ensues at the Ynares Center in Antipolo on Sunday night at 6:30 p.m.
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