NLEX is unbeaten in 11 matches and is just two wins away from its third straight title but blocking its way is upset-conscious Big Chill in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup Finals.
The best-of-three series, an interesting showdown of offense and defense, starts on Monday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Big Chill is one of the top offensive teams in the league, averaging 80 points a game while NLEX has limited its opponents to an average of only 62 points per game in the run-up to the finals.
“This will be a classic match-up. Both teams are evenly matched in terms of individual talent,” said NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez.
The Road Warriors swept their opposition in the last two conference finals, while the Superchargers are aiming for their first title in franchise history dating back to the defunct commercial-amateur Philippine Basketball League as the ANI-FCA team.
NLEX won its only match-up with Big Chill, 80-70, but that was on opening day of the conference. A lot has changed since then, including the entry of new head coach Robert Sison in place of Arsenio Dysangco. Big Chill has lost just twice in 11 outings.
“Big Chill is well-coached. Coach Robert is a champion coach. But as long as my team is ready and prepared for every game, I will be okay. This is a tough but we are ready,” Fernandez said.
Sison believes that he has the manpower to challenge the Road Warriors for the crown with Alex Mallari, Keith Jensen and Jewel Ponferrada leading their charge.
“I think we can match up with them, it’s going to be an interesting series,” said Sison, who had led Montana Jewels to a PBL crown.
“The whole organization from management to the players are so motivated and so pumped up and so prepared for this encounter with NLEX,” he added.