BLACKWATER Sports is doing everything to gain an edge over NLEX in their Thursday match-up.
As they prepared for the much-anticipated showdown, the Blackwater Sports coaching staff showed clips of the team’s victory over the Road Warriors when they captured the PBA D-League Foundation Cup title last summer.
“Ang habol namin is kundisyon ang utak namin na ready kami sa NLEX,” said Blackwater head coach Leo Isaac.
The Elite face off with the Road Warriors for the first time on Thursday in a marquee Aspirants Cup match-up since breaking the former’s streak of four straight championships last June. Blackwater Sports went the full route in beating NLEX for the best-of-three Foundation Cup title series.
Game time is at 4 p.m. at the JCSGO gym in Quezon City.
Blackwater Sports hopes the strategy works as they look to improve their 6-3 win-loss card to position themselves for a quarterfinal seat. The Road Warriors are running second with a 7-1 slate.
“Para sa amin, it’s more of a mind game. We can play our best if we are prepared mentally,” Isaac said.
But Isaac clarified that he knows they cannot beat NLEX by merely watching the tapes of last conference.
“Gusto ko lang ma-refresh ang minds nila na kaya namin silang talunin. Of course, (the championship) was a thing of a past. Isang linggo lang ’yun napag-usapan, kailangan pa rin naming mag-trabaho. Ang lakas ng firepower nila,” Isaac said.
More than bouncing back from last conference, coach Boyet Fernandez said the Road Warriors are aiming to further solidify their hold on the No. 2 slot and claim one of the two automatic berths in the semifinals.
“Our main goal is to make it to the semifinals right away,” said Fernandez.
In other matches, Wangs Basketball (4-8) wraps up its maiden campaign in the PBA D-League against Boracay Rum (5-6) at 12 p.m.
Jumbo Plastic Linoleum, meanwhile, hopes to boost its chances of taking a two twice-to-beat incentive in the quarterfinals when it battles Cebuana Lhuillier (4-4) at 2 p.m.
The Giants are currently in third place with a 9-3 slate. With several teams still with three losses, a 10th win could prove handy in case of a tiebreaker.
The third and fourth ranked squads will face the fifth and sixth place teams in the quarterfinals with the higher-seeded teams needing only a win to advance into the semifinals.
Team standings: Big Chill 10-1, NLEX 7-1, Jumbo Plastic Linoleum 9-3, Hog’s Breath Café 8-3, Cagayan Valley 7-3, Blackwater Sports 6-3, Café France 7-4, Cebuana Lhuillier 4-4, Boracay Rum 5-6, Wangs Basketball 4-8, NU-BDO 2-7, Zambales M-Builders 2-9, Derulo Accelero 1-10, Air21-Arellano 1-11.