TEAM Pilipinas got back at Jordan on Wednesday night, 82-73, in the second game of their tune-up series that was cut short following the decision of the visiting team not to finish the match.
A heated verbal joust between rival coaches Yeng Guiao and Joey Stiebing marred the highly-physical game at the 6:26 mark of the final quarter, an incident that prompted the West Asian country to pull out of the match and leave the playing venue in haze so as not to further escalate the tense situation..
Guiao claimed the visitors were bullying his team.
"I just don't want us to be bullied in our own country. They were bullying us all the way," said Guiao, still furious after the game,
Things began to get testy after a Jordan player threw the ball at Scottie Thompson following a foul.
Guiao approached the player and gave him a piece of his mind, but Stiebing didn't like what the Team Pilipinas mentor did and confronted him about it, sparking a heated exchange of words witness by a jampacked crowd at the Meralco gym.
"The incident that triggered the whole thing, their player threw the ball to our player, which was unnecessary," said the Filipino coach. "They were getting too rugged on us from the beginning even during the first game. And it's my responsibility to keep my players' safe."
Stiebing acknowledged he may have 'said something to Guiao, that I shouldn't have said,' but insisted Guiao cursed his players.
The American coach also added the team decided not to continue playing since it may lead to something bad that could happen.
"I didn't want to see that happen," he said.
Both coaches already figured in a verbal spat early on in the second quarter when bruising big man Mohammed Hussein took down Christian Standhardinger with a hard foul.
"Again I felt that was unnecessary. It was a takedown," said Guiao.
The surprise ending to the game denied Team Pilipinas of a well-earned victory especially after it rallied back from as much as a 19-point second quarter deficit.
Trailing 36-49 at the half, Guiao started the third quarter behind the San Miguel quartet of Standhardinger, June Mar Fajardo, Marcio Lassiter, and Arwind Santos along with LA Tenorio at the point.
The combination clicked right away as the host team outscored Jordan, 25-9, in the first six minutes of the second half.
A corner three by Lassiter finally had Team Pilipinas taking on the driver's seat, 61-58.
"We're a little bit smoother especially in the second half in our execution, we made our shots in the second half," said Guiao of the national team's comeback. "I was really waiting for our shots to go in, ang tagal ko ng hinihintay buti dumating na rin."
Jordan won the first meeting between the two teams Monday night, 98-92. (GR)