NLEX tries to keep its unbeaten streak intact without its head coach when the Road Warriors face streaking Cagayan Valley on Monday in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the JCSGO gym in Quezon City.
The Road Warriors play their second game without coach Boyet Fernandez as they go for their fifth straight win in their 2 p.m. encounter with the Rising Suns.
Mon Celis called the shots for NLEX in an 88-67 rout of Café France last week, extending their unbeaten run to four.
Fernandez, who is also the head coach of San Beda, is in Lithuania along with four Red Lions players led by Ola Adeogun for their preseason training for the NCAA.
The entry of Bobby Ray Parks has given the Road Warriors a big boost, but Celis said NLEX still cannot be complacent against Cagayan Valley, which has won two straight games after a 0-2 start.
Parks scored 15 points in his first game with NLEX on Tuesday.
“They are aware that any team in the league is capable of winning at any given time so we can’t be complacent. Our key players are stepping up and Rayray (Parks) coming in at this point in time is a big lift for the team,” Celis said.
Cagayan Valley assistant coach Ogie Gumatay said NLEX without Adeogun improves their chances of stunning the Road Warriors.
“I think we could match up with them with Ola out. Basta sipagan lang naming dumipensa at makadikit lang kami sa tingin ko may pag-asang manalo,” said Gumatay, whose team shares fourth spot with Big Chill, Boracay Rum, and Café France with a 2-2 win-loss mark.
In other matches, defending champion Blackwater Sports (1-2) eyes its second straight win against winless Derulo Accelero (0-4) at 10 a.m. Jumbo Plastic (2-1) takes on Hog’s Breath Café (1-3) at 12 p.m.