PBA: Back to ‘square one,’ NLEX left with no choice but to adjust fast
MANILA, Philippines—NLEX’s run with KJ McDaniels has come to an end, leaving head coach Yeng Guiao to to rush his team with new import Cameron Clark in tow.
The Road Warriors ended their preliminary campaign with a 115-103 victory over Barangay Ginebra to get to an 8-3 record and secure a twice-to-beat advantage come the quarterfinals.
A huge chunk of that was thanks to McDaniels who was the league’s leading scorer and shot blocker.
With just a week to go before the quarterfinals, Guiao said he will be cramming everything that his team needs to do in the seven days before they step back on the court.
“I guess with the one-week break we have, we’ve already played all our games and the next one is in the quarterfinals, we’ll have to use that time to acclimatize Cameron Clark to the team,” said Guiao Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“We have to run the sets with him and the guys so he can adjust to the team and the team will also adjust to him.”
McDaniels, prior to the Ginebra game, averaged 30.8 points, 11.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.5 steals, and 2.8 blocks per game but those numbers will just be remembered as mere statistics as he won’t be with the team in the playoffs.
The 6-foot-5 forward will fly back to the United States to be bed-side with his wife for the birth of their child.
“This is exactly what we’ll be missing because everyone’s already adjusted to KJ, and KJ too is adjusted with the team,” said Guiao. “That took a lot of effort and we’re now back on square one but we have no choice.”
“We have to move on after KJ and we hope we can still play well. We just have to roll with the punches and make the adjustment.”
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