The Northern Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Road Warriors will gun for a share of the lead when they battle the Star Hotshots today in the elimination round of the Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 Philippine Cup at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
The undefeated Road Warriors, under the tutelage of coach Boyet Fernandez, aiming for third consecutive win will face the Hotshots in the second game at 5 p.m. after the 3 p.m. game between the GlobalPort Batang Pier and the Barako Bull Energy.
NLEX is expected to lean on veteran center Paul Asi Taulava, Enrico Villanueva, Sean Anthony, Mac Cardona, Kevin Alas, Jonas Villanueva, Garvo Lanete, Eric Camson and Mark Borboran.
NLEX previously beat Blackwater (90-86) and Barako Bull (93-85) for a 2-0 start this conference.
Rain or Shine and Alaska are sharing the top spot with identical 3-0 win-loss records.
The win-loss record of the Star Hotshots under rookie coach Jason Webb fell to a 1-2 after losing to the GlobalPort Batang Pier last week.
Star will bank on the talents of two-time Most Valuable Player James Yap, Peter June Simon, Ian Sanggalang, rookie Norbert Torres, Jean Marc Pingris, Justin Melton, rookie Mark Cruz, Mark Barroca and Alex Mallari to post their second win.
In the first game, GlobalPort is expected to rely on Stanley Pringle and Terrence Romeo, Doug Kramer, Billy Mamaril, Anthony Jay Washington and Joseph Yeo.
Barako is coming off a breakthrough 82-79 win over the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings last October 31.
The Energy will be led by JC Intal, Ryan Roose Garcia, Mick Penissi, Mac Barracael, Prince Caperal and Willie Wilson, among others.
Meanwhile, Alaska subdued Mahindra 98-94 on Friday in Dubai to stay unbeaten in three games.