NLEX goes for its fourth straight PBA D-League crown on Tuesday still with caution as it expects a big comeback from Cagayan Valley in Game Two of the Aspirants Cup championship series at The Arena in San Juan.
The Road Warriors, who have won all three previous D-League titles, seek to extend their dominance when they clash with the Rising Suns anew at 3 p.m.
NLEX had a roaring start to the best-of-three championship series by walloping Cagayan Valley, 87-63, at the Blue Eagle Gym last week.
Borgie Hermida was instrumental in the Game One victory, contributing 10 points and 11 assists in the Road Warriors’ lopsided win over the Rising Suns in the series opener.
NLEX has yet to drop a finals game since the league’s inception in 2010. But Boyet Fernandez, head coach of the powerhouse NLEX squad, believes that Cagayan Valley is set for a comeback.
“We are not taking it sitting down,” Fernandez said, going into Tuesday’s Game Two. “Cagayan has lots of pride and they’ll be back. They will be ready.”
“They have good players and a good coaching staff. We just came in with a lot more energy (in Game One). I’m sure they’ll be back. We have to match their energy and start strong. It won’t be a walk in the park,” said Fernandez.
Cagayan Valley coach Alvin Pua expressed confidence they can still bounce back after making only 32 percent (22 of 68) from the field and missing 22 of their 38 free throws.
“We didn’t make our shots. That was the story of Game One,” said Pua.
Eluid Poligrates had 15 points for the Rising Suns but failed to get enough support from his teammates.