NLEX out to stretch victory run vs BlackwaterBy Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
NLEX tries to stay perfect against a Blackwater squad hoping to fan its semifinal bid minus key cog Kelly Nabong in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup today at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
The Road Warriors shoot for an eighth straight triumph at 2 p.m. against the Elite expected to sorely miss Filipino-American big man Nabong, who will serve a one-game suspension for elbowing guard Kevin Alas in the Elite’s loss to Cebuana Lhuillier, 101-84, two weeks ago.
“It will be difficult, but we’ll be prepared,” coach Leo Isaac said of his Elite (4-2), who need a win to boost their bid for the last outright semifinal berth.
The Road Warriors already earned an automatic entry to the Final Four with a 7-0 slate, while the Elite hope to keep pace with idle Big Chill (5-2) and Cebuana Lhuillier (5-2) in the race for the remaining semifinal incentive.
Café France tries to stay alive against the winless Cagayan Rising Suns in the 4 p.m. match.
The Bakers, at 2-4, still remain hopeful of reaching the quarterfinals following an 81-66 rout of Junior Powerade last Thursday.
“We’re still at it,” said Café France coach Egay Macaraya. “If we get another win, we have a strong chance of making it to the playoffs.”
Bannered by Cliff Hodge, NLEX tries to sustain its unbeaten streak with young standouts Calvin Abueva and Ian Sangalang likely to rejoin the team after missing several games while training in the United States with the San Sebastian Stags.
“We will be looking for adjustments, but whatever happens, we’ll be ready to play,” said NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez. With a report from Randolph B. Leongson