Even with a perfect record, NLEX still hopes to improve its defense when the Road Warriors go for an eighth successive victory against Café France in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup today at Trinity University of Asia gym in Quezon City.
“We’re not consistent with our defense,” said NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez. “Sometimes we lack in effort. I told [the players] we can’t just turn it on when we want to turn it on.”
Big Chill, toting a 4-1 card behind NLEX’s 7-0, tries to stay in the top two against newcomer Fruitas in the second game at 2 p.m.
Blasted by the Road Warriors over a week ago, the Superchargers try to recover from their first loss, 91-67, with defense also the key concern of coach Robert Sison.
“The team’s morale is intact and the players know their capabilities and ability to bounce back after a loss,” said Sison. “We just have to give more emphasis on our defensive game plan against Fruitas.”
The Road Warriors followed up that lopsided win over the Superchargers by conquering another strong contender in Cagayan Valley, 84-75, last week where the seven-foot Ateneo star center Greg Slaughter finally debuted for the three-time champions.
“Greg has been playing very well,” Fernandez said of the standout, who missed NLEX’s first six games as he was completing the documents required by the league.
Café France coach Egay Macaraya admits that his Bakers may need a “miracle” to stop a virtual all-star crew like NLEX in their 12 noon duel.
“Our motivation factor is making history,” said Macaraya of his bid to stop the Road Warriors, who have yet to lose a game in 24 outings since January. “Miracles happen every day.”