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NLEX eyes QF bonus

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NLEX eyes QF bonus

/ 05:16 AM September 13, 2017
Alex Mallari is among the newcomers who have taken the lead for NLEX’s turnaround this season. —Sherwin Vardeleon

Alex Mallari is among the newcomers who have taken the lead for NLEX’s turnaround this season. —Sherwin Vardeleon

ANTIPOLO—Yeng Guiao hasn’t had this kind of a view for quite a while.

The NLEX coach is looking down on almost everyone for the first time this PBA season, and the Road Warriors take the first of two shots to nail down a big quarterfinal advantage in the Governors’ Cup with a win over TNT KaTropa Wednesday at Ynares Center here.

Weather permitting, tip off is at 7 p.m. and Guiao knows exactly what’s in store for his Road Warriors if they win.

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“That’s the good thing with our situation right now—we know what we need to do to get a top four slot,” Guiao said.

The Texters, meanwhile, will play for the first time in eight years with Ranidel de Ocampo no longer part of the squad after dealing the veteran forward to Meralco in a trade that also involved Phoenix.

TNT got Justin Chua, who Meralco first shipped to the Fuel Masters.

NLEX is tied for the lead with idle Barangay Ginebra at 7-2 and Guiao had said that he thinks the magic number for a top four slot—and a twice-to-beat privilege—would be eight wins.

“It will be tough. But who knows? We could get lucky again in one of our last two games,” he said.

Aaron Fuller has proven to be exactly what the doctor has ordered to resuscitate NLEX. Then there’s Guiao’s genius of tweaking the local lineup to get the players he wants.

“I think the players just jelled earlier than I anticipated,” Guiao said as Larry Fonacier, JR Quiñahan and Alex Mallari have come to fore and are immediately playing with impact for the Road Warriors.

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TAGS: Basketball, PBA, Yeng Guiao
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