FOUR-time PBA D-League NLEX is finding it hard to prepare for the coming Aspirants Cup with the NCAA men’s basketball tournament still ongoing.
Coach Boyet Fernandez admitted the extended Season 89 of the country’s oldest collegiate league is hampering the preparations of the Road Warriors, especially him as he also happens to be the head mentor of three-time champion San Beda.
The season-opening tournament of D-League is set to open on Oct. 24 at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Action in the NCAA meanwhile, is expected to end by middle of November yet, with the Red Lions expected to figure prominently in the playoffs.
“I still don’t know who will be my holdovers and new players until now because the NCAA season is still in its elimination phase and players are not allowed to practice or sign up with teams,” said Fernandez.
NLEX actually has a school tie-up with San Beda which allows the Road Warriors to acquire the core of the Lions including Nigerian Ola Adeogun.
But even though both teams have a tie-up, NLEX consultant for sports Allan Gregorio said they just can’t hold one practice for the same teams.
“Hindi naman puwede magsabay ‘yung practice ng San Beda at NLEX dahil iba ‘yung NCAA,” said Gregorio.
Unlike NLEX, Blackwater Sports, which broke the Road Warriors’ string of titles after winning the Foundation Cup last summer, has already been playing a series of tune-up games and even played in goodwill series in Cebu recently.