(Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)
NLEX coach stays wary of the Fuel Masters ahead of their encounter
The Phoenix Fuel Masters have come a long way from the way they debuted back in the 2016 Commissioner's Cup. Even though they lost their first game under their new coach, Louie Alas to open the 2017 Philippine Cup, the Fuel Masters bounced back against the still winless, Kia Picanto as the former exploded for 125 points. That's why one particular coach in the PBA remains wary of what this Phoenix team can do. That coach is none other than Yeng Guiao whose NLEX Road Warriors are scheduled to open 2018 with an encounter against the team who beat them during the pre-season.
And Yeng Guiao has all the reasons to worry about the Phoenix Fuel Masters. After all, it was Phoenix who handed Guiao his first ever defeat in his coaching stint with NLEX although the Road Warriors took the next two encounters. And aside from having a new coach in Alas, the Fuel Masters have a drastically different roster compared to what they had before.
Yeng Guiao took notice that Phoenix has a healthy Matthew Wright and of course, one of his former players in Jeff Chan who played under Guiao during his stint with the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. But more importantly, the occasionally hot-headed coach also noted that the Fuel Masters are now bannered by one of the promising rookies in the 2017 draft: Jason Perkins.
Aside from the key players and the new coach of Phoenix, Yeng Guiao has other things to worry about with regards to their first game of the year. The coach is worried that the holiday break took some of the sharpness from the Road Warriors which enabled Kiefer Ravena and company to win the first two games of the new season.
Fortunately for the Road Warriors, Yeng Guiao is someone who always gets what he wants from his players. If he demands 110% focus on the game at hand, he will definitely get it. Why? Who would enjoy being yelled at by Yeng Guiao aside from being benched? Unfortunately for the Fuel Masters, they have no one to stop Kiefer Ravena.
Prediction: NLEX will win.