JAKE Pascual is the Best Player of the Conference in the eyes of NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez.
“For me, without Jake Pascual, we are dead,” said Fernandez.
Pascual averaged a near double-double in the eliminations of the PBA D-League Foundation Cup, posting 9.1 points and 9.7 rebounds during the Road Warriors' climb to the top spot with a 9-2 win-loss card.
More importantly, the former San Beda Red Lion had to play as an undersized center this conference after former NLEX big man Ian Sangalang moved to EA Regen Medical Group and Greg Slaughter took a long leave before rejoining the team late in the eliminations.
“He contributes double-double numbers for us. He carried the load until Greg came in,” Fernandez said.
With NLEX having to play without two key big men, the Road Warriors lost two straight games to start the conference but recovered just in time as they tallied nine straight victories to end their elimination campaign.
Fernandez said that without the 6-foot-3 Pascual, NLEX would not even be in the finals this conference.
“If you look at the situation, without Jake Pascual, we would not have been here (in the Finals). Why? Because we won’t have a legitimate post player. He is only a four (power forward) but he makes double-double numbers almost every game,” said Fernandez.
Pascual is looking to join now-Meralco cager Cliff Hodge and Sangalang as NLEX players who have won a Best Player award in the league.
The Road Warriors are awaiting the winner of the Boracay Rum-Blackwater Sports do-or-die semifinal match set on Tuesday.