NLEX, Converge eye win No. 5

Olmin Leyba - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Staying hot and stretching their franchise-best 4-0 starts against separate heavyweight oppositions will be the main agenda as co-leaders NLEX and Converge report for action in today’s PBA Governors’ Cup.

The Road Warriors shoot for No. 5 against defending champion Barangay Ginebra (1-0) in the 5:45 p.m. main game, hoping that new guy Wayne Selden is as effective as his predecessor Jonathon Simmons.

The FiberXers seek the same versus TNT (3-1) in an equally explosive matchup at 3 p.m. ushering in the Wednesday twinbill at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Frankie Lim’s Road Warriors unleash Selden, a former NBA player tasked to continue the success started by the prolific Simmons, who left for China after his short but perfect 4-0 stint.

“We’ll work with him, teach him what we do in our games during practice,” said Lim of Selden, who had three training sessions to get to know his new team before his PBA debut.

“It’s too bad Simms (Simmons) had to leave but again, we just have to move on and build on our 4-0 run,” he added.

Ginebra mentor Tim Cone believes NLEX’ firepower hardly diminished with Simmon’s departure.

“I understand that Selden is an absolute stud. I have friends in the States who have seen him play and they think he’s going to be a super, super import. They may not lose too much when Selden comes in. He’s really good. He played three or four years in the NBA,” said Cone, whose troops led by three-time Best Import Justin Brownlee started their title-retention quest with a 116-108 dispatching of Rain or Shine last Sunday.

Converge is also bannered by its second import of the tournament but unlike Selden, Jamaal Franklin already chalked up three games for the FiberXers.

Coach Aldin Ayo actually expects even more from Franklin, who posted a triple-double in their 112-98 romp over ROS last Thursday, as the campaign moves along.

“We still need more practice with him. We’re taking it slowly. Jamaal is doing his best to cope up and trying his best to fit into our system,” said Ayo.

On the opposite side stand the Tropang Giga, who with a 98-85 win over Magnolia are back on track following a 110-108 loss to NLEX.

TNT mentor Jojo Lastimosa stressed the importance of “playing hard and playing smart for 48 minutes.”



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