NLEX is keen to grab a twice-to-beat advantage in the PBA Governors’ Cup quarterfinals when the Road Warriors tackle TNT at Ynares Center in Antipolo city Wednesday night.
Their game starts at 7 p.m., following the Rain Or Shine-Phoenix tussle at 4:15 p.m.
It will be TNT’s first game since Ranidel de Ocampo was dealt away in a 3-team trade on Monday, with the KaTropa getting big man and many-time national-team call-up Norbert Torres as well as a 2017 first-round pick. De Ocampo, meanwhile, ended up in Meralco.
NLEX coach Yeng Guiao hopes the roster shakeup throws off TNT’s chemistry, at least for one day.
“We hope the RDO trade is going to create some adjustment issues that can work to our advantage,” Guiao said in a story posted on the PBA website.
A win will give Guiao’s Road Warriors (7-2) a provisional half-game lead over Barangay Ginebra.
“Our mission is to get to eight wins ASAP,” Guiao said. “(We have) two tough games to accomplish that. TNT is the first big hurdle.”
Coming off a 10-day layoff and back-to-back wins, NLEX will rely on reinforcement Aaron Fuller, surprise package Juami Tiongson and Kevin Alas, who has just been awarded a contract extension.
Without De Ocampo, a key figure in 6 TNT championships, the KaTropa, currently tied with San Miguel with identical 5-3 records, will be led by Jayson Castro, RR Pogoy and Kelly Williams.
In the first game, second-to-last Phoenix (2-7) tries to keep alive its flickering hopes of advancing to the next round when the Fuel Masters battle Rain Or Shine (4-3).
Both squads are coming off a loss — Rain Or Shine to Grand Slam-seeking San Miguel Beer and Phoenix to co-leader Ginebra.
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)