(Smart Araneta Coliseum, Quezon City)
4:30 p.m. – NLEX vs Big Chill
The broom is out and powerhouse NLEX is ready to use it as it shoots for a place in history in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup.
Out to erase the stigma of their shocking defeat to Blackwater Sports in the finals of the Foundation Cup last year, the Road Warriors are determined to finish off the Big Chill Superchargers today when they clash in Game 2 of their best-of-three series at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Though they went through some scary moments before finally winning Game 1, 79-75, it was enough to give a huge buffer going into today’s 4:30 p.m. game.
With Garvo Lanete struggling offensively, former Letran star Kevin Alas gamely took the scoring cudgels, coming through with clutch baskets down the stretch that helped scuttle Big Chill’s furious rally.
Lanete, however, vowed to rebound from a 4-point performance and that is certainly a bad news for the Superchargers.
While NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez admits that momentum is on their side, they can’t simply ignore the fact that the Superchargers remain a potent force.
“Big Chill is a very dangerous team and I expect that this game will be tough. We can’t take any
chances now,” said Fernandez.
Fernandez is also confident that Lanete can overcome his shooting woes in the opener and dish out his usual numbers for the team which is trying to win its third straight Aspirants Cup title.
Alas, a future top 10 in the PBA Rookie Draft, saved NLEX from an embarrassing meltdown when he scored seven points at crunch time, including a booming triple.
“They are a tough team, but we have to be tougher,” Fernandez said.
Despite losing Game 1, Big Chill coach Robert Sison remains unperturbed.
“We have already made our adjustments heading to Game 2. We reviewed the tape and we saw how we lost, and the whole team and management are optimistic that we can execute the plans that we have for this game,” said Sison.
Reil Cervantes and Brian Heruela are expected to carry the fight for the Superchargers. In Game 1, Cervantes finished with 17 points, while Heruela flirted with a triple-double with 12 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.
To extend the series, Sison said they have to play smart and consistent in both ends.
“We just hope to play consistently from the start up to the final buzzer. I just hope we get the breaks so we can extend the series,” Sison said. (Christian Jacinto)