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Pacquiao’s status with Mahindra uncertain… Coach Napa out to inspire Letran… Gilas program bags Fil-Nigerian prospect




Alas said NLEX approached the game as a must-win after losing three of its last four games.
“We’re struggling kasi nag-three-game losing skid kami. Medyo marami ng issue lumabas sa team. Sabi lang namin one game at a time, inuna lang namin yung game namin sa Star then ngayon sa Mahindra. We have to prepare for Meralco,” he said. “Human nature. May mga doubts na. Ako personally, pinipilit ko yung sarili ko na maging positive sa practice, and encourage some of my teammates kasi may mga doubts na nga tapos nakisali pa ako, baka mag-rub off sa lahat.”
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The NLEX Road Warriors grabbed a tight 82-81 win after a late-game surge against the Mahindra Enforcers on Wednesday afternoon at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. “Our edge is we kept at it. We’ve been in this position for a lot of games this conference,” he said. NLEX showcased a defensive performance, limiting Mahindra to only two points in the last five minutes of the match. A decisive 9-0 run in the final stretch capped by a Walker triple lifted NLEX for good. “I got to give credit to my teammates. They made plays. We couldn’t put the ball in but we relied on our defensive game and we got it done,” Walker added.


MAHINDRA, less than a week after seeing its dream PBA start come to an end, tries to pick itself up today when the Enforcers clash with the very dangerous NLEX Road Warriors as the elimination round of the Governors’ Cup enters its second half at Smart Araneta Coliseum. Tip-off is at 4:15 p.m. with the Enforcers looking to bounce back from a 94-100 loss at the hands of Phoenix Petroleum last week, their first defeat in five games that knocked them out of the lead for the first time in the season-closing conference. And they will be facing an NLEX crew that has one of the most prolific imports in Henry Walker, who just led the Road Warriors past Star, 88-85, over the weekend that snapped their three-game losing streak.
Sports Inquirer
Sports Inquirer

“I do credit this win to our defense. We made three good stops in the last two minutes and we were really happy that we followed our defensive schemes,” said NLEX head coach Boyet Fernandez. Kevin Alas made up for a silly turnover with a steal on James White in Mahindra’s final possession to preserve the Road Warriors’ third win in six tries. “Kevin did a good job on following the instructions on staying with White,” Fernandez said. “This game is for my players. They’re sticking with each other.”

Sports Inquirer

WILL Mahindra relegate playing-coach Manny Pacquiao back to its reserve list with the impending comeback of point guard LA Revilla? The playmaker out of De La Salle is set to return to the Enforcer’s active roster when they play Blackwater this Sunday in hopes of getting back on the winning track in the PBA Governors Cup. “Babalik na ako sa Sunday,” said Revilla on Wednesday after watching on the bench as the Enforcers lost for the second straight time, 82-81.

MAHINDRA should have taken to heart the lessons it learned in its defeat to Phoenix last Friday. Mahindra assistant coach Chris Gavina is hoping his team has put the Phoenix game behind it but not the experience gained. “A highly pivotal game for us, especially coming off a loss,” he said. “We’re just going back to what has made us successful thus far and that’s just to play Enforcer basketball,” Gavina added. “To us, if we play disciplined defense, selfless basketball and everyone is mindful of each other’s success then the outcome of the game takes care of itself.”

KEVIN Alas made it a point to deliver on the defensive end after committing a miscue on the offensive end late in NLEX’s 82-81 win over Mahindra in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Wednesday. “Actually, mindset ko nung nag-turnover ako, I have to get this stop para ma-cover up yung turnover ko,” Alas admitted. “Masaya ako na nakabawi ako sa defense.”

Despite Mahindra’s loss, or because of it, NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez expects his team to have its hands full. “Mahindra had been playing well under a new coach and they have a very good import,” he said. “We have to match their energy and effort if we want to upset them,” added Fernandez. “We have to challenge really hard on their shots and we will have to battle on the rebounds. We have to play solid on defense and offense to give ourselves a chance to win.”

NLEX proved steadier than Mahindra at crunch time as it hacked out an 82-81 victory to gain some momentum in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Wednesday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. “We made three good stops in the last two minutes and we’re really happy that we followed our defensive schemes,” NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez said. “They’re sticking with each other.”

KEVIN Ferrer was a key factor for Tanduay in its upset of top-seed Racal in the 2016 PBA D-League Foundation Cup semifinals, but Rhum Masters coach Lawrence Chongson remains unimpressed despite the heroics of his overweight star. “Hindi pa (nabura yung doubts). Kailangan natin mag-champion muna bago mabura lahat ‘yan. This will be nothing if we don’t win it all,” said Chongson.

Ferrer is confident about the chances of the hungrier Rhum Masters looking to win it all in their first finals stint. “Sa tingin ko, mas gutom kami. Last year, champion sila. Kami, Tanduay, first time lang makapasok. Yun ang advantage namin,” he said. “Kung mag-play kami as a team ulit, hindi imposible. Yun ang key sa amin, hinanap lang namin ‘yung hot na teammate sa opensa,” he said after Tuesday’s win over Racal.

FIL-NIGERIAN prospect AJ Edu quietly slipped into town on Tuesday night after expressing interest to play for the Philippine team beginning with the Batang Gilas youth side. “He doesn’t have any other passport,” said Teh, unable to hide his excitement over the arrival of a player who could potentially give the youth program – and possibly Gilas – a major boost. “He’s very promising. May alam, bata pa at higit sa lahat, mabait,” he added.

FIL-Nigerian AJ Edu is back in the country for the first time in 15 years. And judging from the way things are going, the trip to the Philippines could become more frequent. “I’m definitely looking forward to it,” said Edu at ringside of the Smart Araneta Coliseum while watching the PBA Governors Cup game between NLEX and Mahindra with mother Josie. “It (future) looks bright.”

JERICHO Cruz is digging the new bounce in his step thanks to the adidas Crazy Explosive shoes recently released in the Philippines. “Endorser ako ng adidas since last year when I got in the PBA. Sila ‘yung unang lumapit sa akin. God gave me this opportunity to wear it, which I’m really happy and blessed at the same time na ako ‘yung unang nakagamit sa mga players out here,” said Cruz.

LETRAN eyes a solid start to the second round when it takes on Lyceum in the NCAA Season 92 basketball eliminations at the Filoil Flying V Centre. “May nine games pa, so kailangan lang maka-bounce back ang mga bata,” said Napa. “As a leader ng team, kailangan ko maging example sa kanila. Hindi pwede nakaupo lang ako, kailangan positive pa din ako sa kanila, lahat ng approach ko gagawin ko para sa kanila at sa ikabubuti nila.”

THE best young athletes from the TM Basketball Para sa Bayan clinics in Cavite, Bulacan, Cebu, and Davao will test their skills against each other in the National Basketball Association’s 3-on-3 competition in Manila from August 19 to 21, 2016. “If you have determination and will to succeed, you can overcome so many challenges and this is what we want the kids to learn,” said Fernando Esguerra, Director of Globe Citizenship. “Even if they are from underprivileged background, even if they don’t play in the hard court, they still have a chance if they will work hard. That is why we bring the TM BPSB clinics to these kids to open opportunities for them such as the NBA3X,” he added.