MANILA, Philippines - NLEX tries to settle down with its game as it seeks to keep its win run going against Fruitas even as Blackwater guns for joint third against Jose Rizal University in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at The Arena in San Juan today.
Though the defending champions have swept their first four games, coach Boyet Fernandez remained from being satisfied with his wards’ performances following a couple of scrambling victories.
“We have no problem with our offense but in our defense,” said Fernandez after the Road Warriors nearly lost a 15-point lead and needed to grind it out in the stretch to beat newcomer Informatics, 88-81, last Tuesday.
But a win is a win with NLEX extending its winning streak to 21 games overall dating back to the semifinals of this conference last year.
The Warriors, however, are expected to have their hands full against the Shakers, headed by 6-8 Nigerian center Ola Adeogun, who are raring to rebound from a frustrating 64-69 loss to the Blackwater Sports side, also last Tuesday.
“We will just match-up [with Adeogun]. We intend to limit his touches and try our best to contain him. But we need to focus on (Carlo) Lastimosa. He’s averaging 18 points a game,” said Fernandez.
Gametime is at 2 p.m.
“Fruitas is a very dangerous, disciplined team. So we need to be patient with our offense and try to be solid playing defense individually and as a team,” said Fernandez.
Three matches are actually lined up today with Big Chill, also unbeaten in three starts, taking on winless Boracay Rum (0-4) at 12 noon and Blackwater Sports battling JRU at 4 p.m.
Adeogun has normed 22 points and 12 rebounds in two games while Lastimosa is netting 17 in three outings. But the duo hardly made an impact against Blackwater Sports as the Shakers dropped to 1-2.
“Our mind set is to correct our mistakes and bounce back,” said Fruitas coach Nash Racela, saying poor transition defense led to their defeat to the Elite.
Big Chill, coming off an 81-61 blowout victory against Cebuana Lhuillier, is heavily fancied to get past Boracay Rum, down in the cellar with a 0-4 card.