Though Northern Luzon Expressway (NLEX) is now sharing the top of the team standings with champion San Miguel Beer, head coach Yeng Guiao expressed his dissatisfaction with his wards’ early performance in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Season 43 Philippine Cup.
“We have a short preparation and we are still cramming in our first two games even though we won those games. I think we’re still 80 to 85 percent in terms of preparation and we cannot use those (games) as an indication or basis for our campaign in this conference,” said Guiao.
The Road Warriors defeated Kia 119-115 last December 20 and GlobalPort 115-104 on Christmas Day for a 2-0 start but Guiao, a seven-time PBA champion coach, told his players that it does not mean anything at this point.
“I believe there is a lot of things that we can improve in our team,” he added.
The Road Warriors will resume their campaign on Sunday against Phoenix before playing vs perennial contenders Magnolia on January 14 in Antipolo, and against the Beermen on January 19 in Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.
Guiao said they need to fortify their defense to beat elite teams like San Miguel Beer, the Hotshots and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.
“We played good offensively because we reached 100 points in our first two games and our ball movement is okay. We had many assists. So, if there is one thing we need to improve, it’s our defense. Our problem is our defensive lapses in terms of communication with each other,” said Guiao.
Second overall pick Kiefer Ravena has been performing according to expectations as the former Ateneo de Manila University standout displayed a good all-around performance.
In the first two games, Ravena averaged 19 points, 4.5 rebounds and 8.5 assists per game and was named the season’s first Player of the Week by the covering media.