FOR NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez, chasing records only adds pressure to his Road Warriors, and so tying the PBA’s longest winning streak is the last thing in his mind.
“All I care is get more wins and hopefully make it to the top two right away,” Fernandez said .
On Tuesday, the Road Warriors beat Informatics, 88-81, matching the 21-game winning streak the Crispa Redmanizers set in 1983, according to PBA statistics chief and Spin.ph columnist Fidel Mangonon III.
That same year, the Redmanizers swept all three conference titles to win a second Grand Slam after their 1976 feat.
But Fernandez said he doesn’t really care much.
“Hindi ko alam ’yun. I’m not thinking about that kasi lalong na-pe-pressure ang mga players.”
Whether he likes it or not, though, the streak will be talked about going to NLEX's next two games against Fruitas and Big Chill in a rematch between the Finals protagonists last conference.
The Road Warriors, currently with a 4-0 win-loss card, will complete their 10-game elimination round assignments by December 20.
Fernandez said the team's schedule in the next few weeks is going to be tough, and getting through it injury free will be the Road Warriors' main concern.
“We are going to play the next six games in about 20 days kaya mahirap. Kailangang mabilis dahil konti lang ang oras namin mag-prepare. We are going to finish our eliminations on December 20 so maikli lang. We will be ready for it,” Fernandez said.
Fernandez is also concerned that defensive mentality hasn't been the focal point of the players as shown in their last four games where they gave up more than 70 points. He insisted the team concentrates in playing defense during practices, only for the mindset to change during games.
“It seems that nagbago na naman. Nag-iba na naman ang mentality (after the match against Informatics). Hindi naman ako bibitaw. I just have to remind the players what they have to do every game. We practiced defense but we bogged down again,” said Fernandez.
“We have to change our attitude of the players. We have to play defense and not on offense alone.”