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Sports

Road Warriors, Rising Suns go for sweep

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - NLEX and Cagayan Valley try to seal a showdown for the PBA D-League Aspirant’s Cup crown as they go for a pair of sweeps in their respective semifinal matches today at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

But while the fancied Road Warriors are tipped to repeat over the Jose Rizal U Bombers in the 2 p.m. opener, the Rising Suns brace for a big fightback from the second seeded Blackwater Elite Sports in the 4 p.m. main game.

NLEX hardly showed the ill effects of a long layoff as it smothered JRU, 105-85, in the opener of their best-of-three series last Tuesday. It was the Road Warriors’ first game since beating the Cebuana Lhuillier Gems last Dec. 20.

Cagayan Valley also scored an emphatic 91-76 win over Blackwater in their side of the Final Four but the Elite are expected to bounce back strong and keep their finals hope alive.

“The guys are determined to win. They know this is just a short series so we can’t afford to lose Game 1. We’ll watch the game tape and see if we need to make some adjustments,” said NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez.

The Bombers, led by John Villarias, actually have a lot of adjusting to do against an NLEX squad boasting of a slew of talented players, headed by Ian Sangalang, RR Garcia, Nico Salva, Eric Camson, Kevin Alas and Greg Slaughter.  

In quest for their fourth straight title in the fledgling league, the Road Warriors needed just 20 minutes to dispatch the Heavy Bombers in Game 1.

With a big first quarter from Sanggalang and a 52 percent field goal shooting in the first half, the Road Warriors built a 51-29 advantage at halftime and coasted the rest of the way.  

Despite their easy win last Tuesday, Cagayan Valley coach Alvin Pua said he expects a tough match in Game 2.

“Anything can happen today. I’m sure Blackwater will make adjustments and try to rebound. So we have to stay focus. I keep telling the boys we are close to the finals so we have to grab the opportunity. I think they are motivated,” said Pua.

 

 

 

ALVIN PUA

BLACKWATER ELITE SPORTS

BOYET FERNANDEZ

CAGAYAN VALLEY

CEBUANA LHUILLIER GEMS

D-LEAGUE ASPIRANT

ERIC CAMSON

FINAL FOUR

HEAVY BOMBERS

ROAD WARRIORS

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