May 17, 2018

With NLEX sitting on the brink, Yeng Guiao sounds off drastic change

After losing its fourth game in five outings, NLEX coach Yeng Guiao couldn't help but hint at drastic changes for his team to revive its chances in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup.

"I guess we have to seriously think about making changes," he lamented after falling to GlobalPort, 116-94 on Wednesday.

"I'm not saying we're doing it 100-percent, but realistically, you have to think about it seriously."

Though Guiao did not specifically name names, Arnett Moultrie is certainly on the hot seat, and the seasoned mentor did admit that an import change is something the team management is considering.

"Of course, the easiest way to make an impact is to look at the import and see if that desired effect of making an impact can take effect if there's a change. So that's one thing we're looking at," he said.

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Moultrie has had a roller-coaster run in the PBA, averaging 26.3 points, 15.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 2.0 blocks, and 1.5 steals in the four games he played for the Road Warriors.

Inconsistency has been the reinforcement's biggest issue, with Guiao taking exception of his confusing trend of performance against Phoenix last week compared to this harrowing loss to GlobalPort.

"Noong dumating siya, even if we lost the first game that he played, it was still decent for me. And then he had a great game (against Phoenix), so you couldn't ask anything more from the import. That really raised our expectations," he said.

In NLEX's first triumph of the conference, he posted 37 points, 17 rebounds, eight assists, and four blocks against the Fuel Masters.

But that is a big step down to his pedestrian 19 points, 10 boards and three assists showing against the Batang Pier.

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"But tonight, there was something lacking. There was really something lacking. It's just the passion, the desire, the emotion siguro, and some leadership. We were talking about that with the assistant coaches and nobody can answer what happened. Why from the last game to this game, bakit ganoon? Biglang parang na-lowbat, na-low energy."

Guiao has no question on Moultrie's potential granting his NBA-caliber talent, but after this defeat, one couldn't blame him if doubts start creeping on him and the rest of the Road Warriors.

"I think Arnett's very talented. I think he has the right skill set to play for us and with us in our system. But kailangan, he has to have the desire within himself, he has to have the heart to really commit himself to this team or to our team.

The fault, however, isn't Moultrie's alone, as Guiao also put his locals on the spotlight.

"I would like to also point out that it's not his fault alone. The others have to take responsiblity for this loss as a team," he said. "The other thing (for us to make a change) is to look internally, look within ourselves and see what's happening in this conference."

With time running out, expect NLEX to make a decision in the coming days as Guiao aims to make the most of the incoming break from the 2018 PBA All-Star Week.

"I think we have to make a decision. If the decision is to retain (Moultrie), then I guess we'll have to retain him for the rest of the conference. If the decision is to change him, I guess we'll have to change him these next few days," he said.

"If we're going to change him, we want to have a few days of practice to do the changing kasi sayang yung two weeks eh. Pwede ka magpalit at pwede mo pang makuha yung cohesion, the chemistry with the team in the few days that are left within the break."

He ended: "We'll try to make an early decision. If we don't make a decision the next few days, that means we're keeping him." (DL)