Guiao: Weâre not to stop yet
NLEX’s Poy Erram prepares to take an undergoal shot against Magnolia’s Ian Sangalang in their game Sunday. The Road Warriors rallied from 26 points down to pull off an 86-85 stunner.
Guiao: We’re not to stop yet
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - November 13, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — NLEX, the hottest team of the tournament, zeroes in on a possible top seeding as the Road Warriors target their ninth win overall against embattled NorthPort today in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Road Warriors (8-1) have strung up five straight wins highlighted by epic come-from-behind verdicts over Barangay Ginebra and Magnolia and a 13-point conquest of erswhile unbeaten TNT, and coach Yeng Guiao said they shouldn’t stop there.

“We need to preserve our gains by improving on our consistency and this game is a big test,” said Guiao of their 4:30 p.m. match with the skidding Batang Pier (3-6).

“Our focus is on execution and trying to get better for the next round,” added Guiao, whose side is already assured of  a Top 4 spot and win-once bonus in the Last-8 whatever happens in their last two elims assignments.

Alaska (3-6) and Phoenix Pulse (2-7) clash in the other game at 7 p.m., seeking to bolster their respective playoffs drives.

The Aces are tied with the NorthPort Batang Pier at No. 8 while the Fuel Masters stand at 10th, still entertaining slim hopes to advance.  

NLEX, which is expected to give guard Kevin Alas his first taste of action coming off his ACL injury, put itself in good position to vie for No. 1 after clawing back from 26 points down to edge the Hotshots in an 86-85 thriller last Sunday.

“Among the top teams in the league right now, we’re the ones with the least experience. As a team, this is the farthest we’ve been in terms of standings so we need these kinds of game. We need tests like these just to toughen us up, just to build our character, “ said Guiao.

The Batang Pier, hurt by the sudden exit of ACL-hit rookie guard Robert Bolick, suffered back-to-back losses to Alaska and Meralco to find themselves on the fringe of the quarterfinal cutoff.

“It’s a do-or-die for us. We’ll do our best as always,” said NorthPort mentor Pido Jarencio, hoping to get big-time performances from import Michael Qualls, big man Christian Standhardinger and Sean Anthony against NLEX’s well-oiled crew led by Manny Harris, Kiefer Ravena, Poy Erram and Jericho Cruz.

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