Northern Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and Magnolia are both eyeing a 3-2 lead when they clash in Game 5 of the best-of-seven semifinals of the Philippine Basketball Association Season 43 Philippine Cup at 6:30 p.m. today at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo.
The Road Warriors are upbeat after their 91-79 win in Game 4 that tied the series to 2-2. They are one game closer to booking their first finals appearance.
“As what they say, luck is the result of hard work. So I think with our hard work, we’ll be lucky again. More than anything else, it was our defense that got us the win last Friday. If we can bring the same defensive intensity on Sunday, I think we have a strong chance,” said NLEX coach Yeng Guiao.
“There are some adjustments that we can bring in Game 5 that we did in Game 4. We just have to improve those adjustments in our practice and let’s see how they counter,” added Guiao.
Kiefer Ravena, who notched 11 of his 20 points in the last quarter of Game 4, said they’re prepared physically and mentally against Magnolia in Game 5.
In games like this, adjustments are going to be made whether it is minimal, adjustments that can change the complexion of the whole series. I know we have great coaches who will study the game. So our part is to keep our body and mind right in preparation for the game on Sunday,” said Ravena.
Magnolia coach Chito Victolero is admonishing his wards to step up and be more aggressive.
“We need to play with high energy and be more aggressive. It’s now down to best-of-three series, so it’s anybody’s ballgame so we should be ready. We need the other bigs like Aldrech (Ramos) and Rodney (Brondial) to step up,” Victolero said.
“The series is getting longer so everybody should step up especially the bench. Our bench was out scored last time,” added Victolero, who will bank on Ian Sangalang, Jio Jalalon, Peter June Simon, Paul Lee and Mark Barroca. “We need to play and stay together one game at a time.