Yeng Guiao denies hurling N-word at Chris Ross

MANILA, Philippines – Tempers flared late in San Miguel's 109-98 victory over NLEX on Friday, January 19, after Beermen's Chris Ross confronted Road Warriors head coach Yeng Guiao.

With 1:46 left in the game, Ross stood in front of NLEX's bench and exchanged some words with Guiao. 

It did not take long before things turned sour as Ross lost his cool and looked like he wanted to confront the fiery tactician, which led to his ejection after he was slapped his second technical foul.

Fortunately for the Beermen, Ross' ejection did not do much damage as they cruised to their 4th straight victory and remained the only undefeated team this Philippine Cup.

San Miguel head coach Leo Austria shared in the post-game presser that Guiao hurled a racist remark at Ross.

"According to Chris, tinawagan siya ng nigger or ganyan. I don't know but that's what he explained to me because I confronted Chris Ross because he's one of the most important players in my team especially in the endgame," said Austria.

(According to Chris, he was called by Guiao a nigger or something like that. I don't know but that's what he explained to me because I confronted Chris Ross because he's one of the most important players in my team, especially in the endgame)

"But that's the thing he doesn't want to hear so nag-flare up 'yung bata so I cannot blame him." (But that's the thing he don't want to hear so he flared up and I cannot blame him.)

After changing to street clothes, Ross immediately headed to the exit of the Cuneta Astrodome, not wanting to be interviewed. Hours later, he posted an Instagram story stating: "Racism is never justifiable."

'Psychological warfare'

Guiao, on the other hand, said that he did not make the racial slur against the reigning two-time Defensive Player of the Year, and that Ross started the word war.

"Hindi ko tinawag na N-word. Ewan ko kung may nakarinig. Pero hindi," said Guiao. (I did not call him the N-word. I do not know if somebody heard it but I did not call him that.)

"Nandoon siya (Ross) sa tapat namin. Daldal siya nang daldal eh. Eh sa akin naman kapag ganoon, siguro respeto na lang. Lumayo ka na lang tutal mananalo naman na kayo. I didn't understand what he was saying, what he was talking about. Nakipag-trash talking din ako sa kanya."

(Ross was there in from of our bench talking. For me, you just have to respect and get far from us since they were already winning. I didn't understand what he was saying, what he was talking about. I just engaged in trash-talking with him.)

However, Guiao admitted to giving Ross the middle finger.

"Oo. Kasama na rin 'yun. Pero ano naman eh. It's part of siguro psychological warfare. Malakas din siya mang-asar. Hindi lang naman sa amin, every time naman na mga ganoong skirmishes. He also knows what he’s capable of," Guiao added.

(Yes, I did. It's all part of the psychological warfare. He is also good at talking trash, not just with us, every time that there are skirmishes. He also knows what he's capable of.)

With his Road Warriors on downward spiral after losing their third straight, Guiao wants to move on and focus on getting his team back on their winning ways when they clash against the Rain or Shine Elastopainters on January 26.

"We have to arrest it very soon. Ang susunod na laro namin ay versus Rain or Shine sa Friday. So we need to go back to 50% win-loss level para at least may chance ka na maka-playoffs. That’s going to be a crucial game for us."

(We have to arrest our losing streak very soon. Our next game is against Rain or Shine on Friday, and we need to go back to the 50 percent win-loss level to at least have a chance of securing a spot in the playoffs. That’s going to be a crucial game for us.) – Rappler.com

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.

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