December 12, 2017 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES

‘NLEX to be more aggressive in possible trades’

FOLLOWING a lengthy meeting with the coaching staff on the heels of their seventh straight loss in as many games in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, NLEX Road Warriors coach Yeng Guiao told sportswriters that they will be more aggressive this time when it comes to player trade possibilities -- with the exception of the team’s first round pick in next season’s Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Rookie Draft.

“That’s sacred,” said Mr. Guiao, referring to the Road Warriors’ first-round pick next season. “Especially now with what’s happening with the team. The first-round pick is your consolation for not doing well this season. We will not touch it, we will not trade it or give it up. But aside from that, anything is possible.”

Next season’s rookie draft is likely to lure some of big names, including Ray Parks and Kiefer Ravena, two of the most talented players in the country who have decided to delay joining the pro league in the past few years.

Dating back to the Philippine Cup where the Road Warriors also got eliminated early, the team has lost 11 consecutive games, forcing Mr. Guiao to hold a long meeting with the coaching staff to evaluate all the players.

“We have made our evaluation of individual players on the system we have employed. We’re evaluating hard how we can improve the team,” said Mr. Guiao. “Definitely, we have to shake it up. There’s no justification to keep the team as it is. It’s not secret anymore that we’ve been exploring trade options. We will explore any offer coming our way from any team. At the same time, we are open to initiating it. If before we’re holding back, now we’ll be more aggressive.”

The Road Warriors has had difficulty winning games of late.

But while the Road Warriors are now starting to prepare for their future, Mr. Guiao said they have no intention of giving up their Commissioner’s Cup campaign with still four games left.

“We have no intentions of taking it easy because you will never learn when you go easy,” said the NLEX coach. “I think you have to be a little philosophical about our campaign. Maybe God has other plans for us. Before you are rewarded you are humbled first. This is the humbling experience we need to go through.” -- Rey Joble