Northern Luzon Expressway (NLEX) coach Yeng Guiao believes that sustained aggression is the key for the Road Warriors to beat Alaska at 4:30 p.m. today in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 43 Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
TNT KaTropa and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel will clash in the second game at 7 p.m.
Guiao’s wards are upbeat after posting two come-from-behind victories in their last two games for a 4-4 win-loss record.
“We must have a good start against Alaska. And at the same time, we must sustain it and be able to finish strong in the fourth quarter. We already played in two hard fought games and we’re just lucky enough to survive. I know it is going to be tough to repeat it,” said Guiao.
Guiao praised rookie Kiefer Ravena for his output in their 87-85 comeback win against Meralco last Friday.
“Kiefer (Ravena) made the big shots just like he is a 10-year veteran in this league,” said Guiao. The former Ateneo De Manila Blue Eagles guard pulled off the game-winning fade away jumper in the dying seconds through the defense of Nico Salva.
Ravena, the 2017 rookie second overall pick, is averaging 16.7 points, 3.5 rebounds and 5.8 assists in eight games. He is expected to lead NLEX to a fifth win that will boost the Road Warriors’ chance of reaching the playoff round.
But Alaska is no easy foe. The Aces are currently tied with the Beermen who are also holding a 6-2 win-loss record. Alaska, undefeated in the last six games was already assured of a quarterfinals berth.
With only three games left in the elimination, Alaska is a top contender for the top two twice-to-beat privileges.
Meanwhile, TNT and Ginebra, both carrying 4-4 win-loss records, are both keen to post an important win to strengthen their quarterfinals bid.
TNT’s Troy Rosario is doubtful to play today after sustaining a cut on the chin last Wednesday in the fourth quarter of TNT-Phoenix game at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Ginebra is coming off a 103-77 win over Kia also on Wednesday.