What started out as a lopsided affair between Magnolia and NLEX turned into a gut-wrenching thriller in the closing seconds of the payoff period after the Road Warriors fought back from a 26-point deficit and eventually won the match, 86-85, on a last-second putback by Jericho Cruz off a missed free throw by Kiefer Ravena.
A separate game, however, was brewing in the sidelines and it involved NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao and Magnolia import Romeo Travis.
During the course of the intense match, Romeo would take a glance at the Road Warriors bench every time he scored a basket. And then at one point in the second half while NLEX was making its run, Guiao was seen doing a ‘call’ gesture directed at Travis.
“I was telling him to call a friend. We were trash-talking a little and I was trying to tell him that he may need the help of LeBron to get out of this fix,” said Guiao when asked what that was all about.
Travis is widely known as a close friend of NBA superstar LeBron James since the two were teammates at St. Vincent–St. Mary High School. They were part of the 2003 Fighting Irish squad that won the Division II state championship and later on the National Championships.
“But it was all good-natured ribbing,” added the former Gilas mentor.