Guiao says Game 2 loss good for NLEX

“In a way, it’s good because it releases some of the pressure (off us),” said the grizzled tactician, referring to the 84-99 drubbing his NLEX squad received from Magnolia Ang Pambansang Manok last Monday.

Guiao even maintained his Road Warriors would be good to go anew when they tangle with the Hotshots Wednesday in Game 3 of their PBA Philippine Cup semi-finals duel at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“I expect us to be recharged in Game 3,” stated Guiao.

Magnolia’s win, fashioned despite an acute shortage in its rotation, evened up the best-of-seven series at one game apiece and raised the possibility Wednesday’s game could be a pivotal one.

Already thinking ahead, Hotshots coach Chito Victolero refused to be carried away by his charges’ fine bounce-back game from an 87-88 loss in the series opener just two days before.

“We just tied the series,” said Victolero of the win fashioned despite the absence of Marc Pingris (ACL) and Justin Melton (hamstring). Even Mark Barroca was not 100 percent due to a sprain.

Good thing Paul Lee atoned from a dismal Game 1 performance, Ian Sangalang continued playing steady and the other Hotshots did not lack in the help department as second-ranked Magnolia took control right in the opening quarter and even posted a 98-80 lead en route to dealing sixth-seed NLEX its first loss in the playoffs.

“We adjusted a little bit on our defense and we tried to move the ball,” related Victolero.