by Jonas Terrado
Games Today (JCSGO gym, Cubao)
12 noon – NLEX vs Arellano
2 p.m. – Big Chill vs Cebuana Lhuillier
4 p.m. – CafeFrance vs Derulo Accelero
Buoyed by the presence of players from the newly-crowned NCAA champion San Beda, NLEX makes its much-awaited debut today when it battles Arellano-Air21 in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at the JCSGO gym in Cubao.
The Road Warriors have to wait almost a month before playing their first game in the season-opening conference to allow their San Beda players to complete their successful bid in winning their fourth straight NCAA crown.
San Beda won the title two days ago when it survived the courageous stand of Letran, 60-56, behind Nigerian center Ola Adeogun and Finals Most Valuable Player Art dela Cruz.
Adeogun, dela Cruz, Baser Amer, Kyle Pascual and Rome dela Rosa and Ryusei Koga joins NLEX holdovers Kevin Alas, Garvo Lanete, Kirk Long, Jake Pascual, Borgie Hermida, Ronald Pascual and Matt Ganuelas in their quest to win their third straight Aspirants Cup.
Coach Boyet Fernandez’s crew is also aching to rebound from its disappointing finals loss to Blackwater Sports in last season’s Foundation Cup.
The 12 noon affair will see NLEX battling an Arellano squad that is coming off a 77-73 victory over Zambales M-Builders last week.
In other games, Big Chill hopes to stretch its unbeaten run to four games against Cebuana Lhuillier while CafeFrance meets winless Derulo Accelero as part of the tripleheader.
Big Chill carries the solo lead at 3-0 after Perpetual Help rookie Juneric Baloria exploded 22 points in a 90-83 victory over Blackwater last Tueasday. The Superchargers are out to keep the momentum against the Gems at 2 p.m.
CafeFrance is in solo sixth at 2-2 after Josan Nimes fired 33 points in an 84-80 defeat of Boracay Rum. The Bakers play the Oilers at 4 p.m.