MACAU -- Aside from steering NLEX to the crossover semifinals in the 2018 Asia League Super Summer 8 Thursday night, coach Yeng Guiao is happy they were able to play in front of some Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) at the Macao East Asian Games Dome here.
Guiao was welcomed by about 60 Filipinos cheering NLEX to a 88-78 victory against the Xinjiang Flying Tigers. NLEX trailed by as many as 17 points.
"They played their heart out and they put in the effort. Though one thing that makes me happy is we made our Filipino fans here in Macau happy, that's the biggest takeaway for this game," Guiao said.
Guiao made special mention of Mark Tallo, whose daredevil drive to the basket during the fourth quarter drew oohs and ahhs from the crowd.
"The boys just played with a lot of heart," he said. "And even if this is a side tournament, even if it's a minor tournament, I felt like I have a newfound respect for the guys, especially to my new players, Mac Tallo in particular."
Tallo, son of former Pepsi guard Mark, Sr., also a former player of Guiao during the 1990s, finished the game with 12 points, eight assists, six rebounds and a steal.
NLEX will be facing powerhouse Chinese squad Guangzhou Long Lions on Saturday, 7 p.m. to dispute one of the two Summer Super 8 finals spots.
Koreans squads ETL and Elephants and the Seoul Samsung Thunders tangle in the 5 p.m. match to contest on the other finals slot.