PBA: Bolick, NLEX Road Warriors need help to advance outright
TO PBA PLAYOFFS

PBA: Bolick, NLEX Road Warriors need help to advance outright

NLEX Road Warriors' Robert Bolick in the PBA Philippine Cup

NLEX Road Warriors’ Robert Bolick in the PBA Philippine Cup. –PBA IMAGES

Robert Bolick and the NLEX Road Warriors can only kick themselves for being in a situation where the fruits of an early surge in the PBA Philippine Cup has practically gone to waste.

“It’s a pity that what we did to start with a 5-1 record could all go down the drain,” Bolick lamented in Filipino after four straight defeats sent the Road Warriors in a must-win scenario at the close of the elimination round Sunday.

Early in the conference, NLEX was tipped as a contender for a twice-to-beat edge in the first round of the playoffs. Now, they need to survive a KO game and get the help of other teams just to get to the quarterfinals outright.

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The Road Warriors will have to deal with powerhouse Barangay Ginebra in the 6:15 p.m. nightcap at Ninoy Aquino Stadium where they will need to gut out a win to avoid being put at a disadvantage.

One scenario of NLEX advancing outright was already shelved after Meralco denied San Miguel Beer an 11-game sweep of the PBA eliminations with a 95-92 win in Batangas City Saturday.

NLEX is tied with TNT, which has an identical 5-5 record, with the Tropang Giga’s playoff shot coming against quarterfinalist Magnolia in Sunday’s opener at 3:15 p.m.

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Terrafirma and NorthPort are waiting to see if they will be back on Wednesday for the playoff or prepare for the quarters after ending the eliminations with similar 5-6 slates. The results of the remaining games will determine their respective fates.

“We still have a chance and anything can happen,” Bolick said. “These string of losses has been very ugly and we need to fix it. We have to give our all this Sunday and not let this opportunity slip away.”

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Lost chance

NLEX shot itself in the foot—and could have already gotten a quarters berth a few weeks ago against TNT in an out-of-town game in Candon, Ilocos Sur,—by squandering a double-digit lead in the fourth.

Their next three games bore miserable results, with the Road Warriors falling to Phoenix by 35 points, San Miguel Beer by 17 and Rain or Shine by 16 two nights ago.

The Road Warriors’ 120-104 loss to the Elasto Painters, who in the process clinched a quarters berth, at PhilSports Arena in Pasig City ended hopes of the twice-to-beat bonus while allowing Ginebra to clinch the other incentive without the Kings breaking a sweat.

Meanwhile, Blackwater thrashed Phoenix, 102-83, in a nonbearing game Saturday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

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That allowed the Bossing to snap a seven-game skid and end the conference with a 4-7 record while the Fuel Masters concluded their own campaign at 3-8.

TAGS: NLEX Road Warriors, robert bolick

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