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Guiao gets triumphant welcome



NLEX gave head coach Yeng Guiao a fitting welcome from national team duty with a big 124-106 win over previously unbeaten Blackwater in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Governors’ Cup last night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Coaching in his first game this season-ending conference, the tireless mentor Guiao saw his wards come up with a huge third quarter rally to give the Elite their first loss.

Leading by just 10 points, 55-45 at the half, the energized Road Warriors unleashed a quick 24-15 blitz capped by Bong Galanza’s baseline trey to break the game wide open, 84-60, in the 4:27 mark of the third period.

“Blackwater is really for real. So, we made sure that we were prepared for this game,” said head coach Yeng Guiao who is coming from a long national team duty in the 18th Asian Games and the 2019 Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

“We’re really excited to play after a long break. I was excited to coach to have a feel of PBA game again fresh from the national team duties.”

Meanwhile, San Miguel Beer tapped former National Basketball Association player Kevin Murphy to serve as standby import for injured reinforcement Arizona Reid in their PBA Governors’ Cup campaign.

Beermen coach Leo Austria confirmed Murphy, a former Utah Jazz, is arriving today to join team practice.

“AZ is not at one hundred percent right now. We’ll see,” Austria told Daily Tribune.

Reid, a two-time Best Import, suffered a sprained ankle injury in SMB’s game against Columbian last Wednesday.

By John Bryan Ulanday