NLEX cruises past Erase 101-71By Mark Giongco
MANILA, Philippines – Head coach Boyet Fernandez admitted NLEX hasn’t really had enough practice for last few weeks.
It hardly showed though, as the Road Warriors cruised past Erase Xfoliant 101-71 Tuesday in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at the San Juan Arena.
“I’m just happy that we came out with this win, even though we haven’t really practiced as a team,” Fernandez said.
What showed was the three-time defending champion, picking up where it left off despite losing chunk of its core from last year to the PBA Draft.
Filling the void were mainstays Garvo Lanete, Ian Sangalang and new acquisition Nico Salva.
Lanete led six NLEX players in double-digits with 17 points while Sangalang and Salva had 14 and 13 points respectively.
The Road Warriors led from the get-go and even erected a 41-point advantage 98-57 on a right corner jumper by Garvo Lanete with 3:27 left.
“Probably they just want to make a point that we’re a team to reckon with,” said Fernandez.
NLEX, a team made up of star players from the NCAA and UAAP, didn’t even have six-foot-11 Greg Slaughter yet.
“I’m surprised he didn’t play because he was able to play for the national team. Hopefully we’ll have the paper soon.”
NLEX proved to be a double-bladed weapon as it also did its damage on the defensive end.
“We have a good defense against Vidal and Matute,” praised Fernandez.
Nate Matute had 22 points but 16 of which came when the game was already out of reach while Jet Vidal was held scoreless for three quarters before en route to a woeful two-point outing.