NLEX sets out today looking to vault into second spot behind sister team Talk ‘N Text, but coach Yeng Guiao is wary of the Columbian team his Road Warriors are facing today in the PBA Governors’ Cup.
Guiao surely knows what the Dyip can do. After all, the Dyip are now on everyone’s lips following their 102-90 spanking of Blackwater last October 11 in a game where their top gunners – import Kaphri Alston, CJ Perez, Rashawn McCarthy and Reden Celda – lived up to expectations.
Alston tallied 24 points and 20 rebounds, McCarthy cut loose with 25 points and five rebounds, Perez added 24 points and 10 rebounds and Celda 12 points in a concerted effort that probably caught the eye of Guiao.
“I have two concerns coming into our game versus Columbian,” said Guiao, whose Road Warriors meet the Dyip in the 4:30 p.m. opening tussle of a double-header at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
“First is that they’re a very dangerous team, one that’s getting better every game,” added Guiao. “Their confidence level is very high and they are coming together as a team.”
NLEX is gunning for a follow-up to its 113-111 come-from-behind win over Barangay Ginebra last October 5 in Dubai – win that will enable the Road Warriors to grab the solo second spot in the standings and at the same time bolster their playoff bid.
The Roar Warriors’ serious bid in the season-ending conference became all the more apparent as they even opted to get a new import despite good performances of Olu Ashaolo, their import who led them to 4-1 slate and in a tie with San Miguel Beer.
Ashaolu has been replaced by Manny Harris whom the Road Warriors will parade in their game against the Dyip.
It looks like taking a new import is a big gamble in itself, since Harris needs to blend well with the Road Warriors and the system of Guiao. It is indeed a concern too for Guiao, since the Detroit native arrived only last Saturday.
“Second is (we’re) having a new import and blending him with the team in a short period of time. We’re just hoping that we are able to defend their guards and import enough to minimize their efficiency,” said Guiao.
Columbian is shooting for its fourth win in six outings in its bid to get past the elims for the first time under coach Johnedel Cardel. That his Dyip are playing a team with a new import could be a good advantage for them.
“Siyempre, bago at hindi pa sanay dito sa PBA style of play kaya p’wedeng maging disadvantage sa kanila iyon,” said Cardel, referring to NLEX playing with new import.