MANILA, Philippines – NLEX head coach Boyet Fernandez expects Cagayan Valley to go all out in Game 2 of their PBA D-League Aspirants Cup best-of-three championship series.
And with his team just a game away from its fourth consecutive title, the Road Warriors have no plans of letting up either.
“We just won one game. This series is not over till it’s over,” said Fernandez. “I’m sure they’ll make some adjustments so we better be ready on Tuesday.”
NLEX cruised to an 87-63 win in Game 1 last Thursday with its strong efforts on both ends of the floor.
Despite getting dominated in the finals opener, Rising Suns coach Alvin Pua remains confident his team can bounce back and forge a decider.
“The series isn’t over yet. We just didn’t make our shots and that’s more or less the story of Game 1,” Pua pointed out.
Cagayan shot miserably from the field (24-of-68) and at the line (16-of-38). NLEX on the other hand, shot 51percent shooting clip while making 16 of their 23 free throw attempts.
The Road Warriors formidable frontline of Ian Sangalang and Greg Slaughter caused problems for the Rising Suns as they combined for 26 points and 14 rebounds in limited minutes. Nico Salva, Garvo Lanete and Borgie Hermida, who dished out 11 assists, also wound up in double-figure scoring with 10 points each.
Fancy playmaker Eliud Poligrates managed to come away with 15 points and Mark Bringas added a double-double with 11 points and 15 rebounds but what Cagayan missed was the output of Chris Exciminiano and James Forrester.
Exciminiano and Forrester scored just four points apiece.
“We need to be a lot more aggressive and move the ball well to create open shots for our shooters,” Pua said.