MACAU -- Despite NLEX's 15-point loss to ETLand, Yeng Guiao admits they were simply beaten by a tried and tested Korean system that thrives on three-point shooting.
Missing key players Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Alas, Larry Fonacier and Alex Mallari for a variety of reasons, the Road Warriors managed to give a good fight before eventually succumbing to the Elephants' hot-shooting from beyond the arc.
"They (Elephants) made their threes towards the end of the third quarter and then into the fourth quarter, and that's just the typical Korean system or Korean style," Guiao said after the game that saw NLEX fall to an even 1-1 card in the 2018 Asia League Summer Super 8 here.
But the fiery coach said he was satisfied with how the Road Warriors defend the perimeter during the first half after trailing by just two points, 32-30 at the half.
The Korean squad though exploded in the second half on the way to finishing with 15 three-point shots.
"The Koreans got 45 points, and that's a lot more than the points they got from the two-point field goal," noted Guiao, pointing to the stats sheet he was holding after the game.
The 59-year-old NLEX coach believes the loss was an experience the team needed since the Road Warriors are also using this tournament to prepare for the PBA's season-ending Governors' Cup.
Guiao, though, took note of the difference in officiating in the Summer Super 8.
"It's a different style of game. You need a different mentality but again, we adapt to our local system eh," he shared. "Plus I felt the officiating is a factor because there are no illegal screens almost and the screens are moving. And when the screens are moving and you try to catch a three-point shot, it becomes more difficult (to defend)."
Still, Guiao remains confident that the Road Warriors can make the crossover semifinals, as long as they take care of their match against the Xinjiang Flying Tigers on Thursday at the close of the preliminary stage.
"If we can beat the Chinese team tomorrow (Thursday), we can still make the next round and we'll go for that," said Guiao.
"We know they (Flying Tigers) are big and fundamentally sound, but I think we have a chance if we can make our outside shooting and I think we have a quickness advantage over them because that's also the way Korea beat them," added the NLEX mentor.
NLEX opened the tournament by smashing the Formosa Dreamers, 92-64. The Flying Tigers, on the other hand, bowed to the ETLand Elephants, 81-67.