THE NLEX Road Warriors continued their early buildup for the next PBA D-League season by signing up former UAAP Finals MVP Nico Salva of Ateneo on Friday.
The acquisition of the talented power-forward along with Ateneo teammate Greg Slaughter comes as a big boost to the Warriors' bid for a historic fourth straight championship in the fledgling league.
Boyet Fernandez, the NLEX coach, said the addition of Salva and Slaughter basically addresses the loss of key players Cliff Hodge, Chris Ellis, and Calvin Abueva in the new season. All three are likely to either join the coming PBA draft or join the Gilas national program.
The Road Warriors are coming off a sweep of Big Chill in the the Foundation Cup Finals, with Hodge emerging as the Best Player of the Conference.
“The inclusion of Greg and Nico will really fortify our rotation at the four and five positions,” said Fernandez.
Salva averaged 12.8 points, six rebounds, and 1.8 assists in last year's UAAP eliminations, capping his season by bagging the Finals MVP plum after leading the Blue Eagles to a fourth straight championship with a sweep of the Far Eastern Tamaraws.
Like Slaughter, Salva will be playing in his final season for Ateneo and is looking to end his collegiate career with another UAAP men’s title.
Salva and Slaughter also played together for the Sinag Pilipinas squad that bagged the gold medal in last year's Southeast Asian Games in Jakarta, coached by their Ateneo mentor Norman Black.