NLEX knows what exactly Byron Villarias can bring to the table.
The Road Warriors themselves witnseed how Villarias almost personally dashed their bid for a fourth straight PBA D-League championship when he hit seven three-pointers in the deciding game of the Aspirants Cup semifinals series between NLEX and Air21-Jose Rizal University.
But now NLEX need not worry about Villarias anymore as the former JRU Heavy Bomber has signed up with the team to bring instant offense to the already powerhouse squad.
Aware the Road Warriors have some of the finest amateur players in the land, the 25-year-old Villarias, a player known to score in bunches, said he knows what will be his role in the team – deliver three-point baskets when the Road Warriors needs him most.
“Dito kasi, alam mo naman, All-Star team ang sinasabi (sa NLEX). Kung ano lang ‘yung role na binibigay sa akin, ‘yun ang gagawin ko,” said Villarias, who holds the league record for the most points scored in a game with 36.
After playing limited minutes in the Road Warriors’ first few games, Villarias has finally settled down with his new team and has been instrumental in NLEX’s winning run.
He converted four triples and finished with 16 points in the Road Warriors’ 75-66 victory over Fruitas on April 22. Then, he tallied 12 points — all on triples — to spark NLEX to its sixth consecutive win, 81-73, over Blackwater Sports on April 29.
“Byron is back,” NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez once said after Villarias’ shooting effort.
The shooting guard-forward just shrugged off his latest hot streak, saying he is only doing his assigned role with the team.
“Sabi lang ni coach sa akin sa practice, ready lang ako kasi kulang kami. Sa isip ko, every game, kapag ginamit ako, tutulong ako sa team,” said Villarias.
“Every practice, kapag nakahawak ng bola, shoot ko talaga,” he added.
With NLEX on a winning run, Villarias said he hopes to be given another chance to help the team win games and, of course, another championship.
“Sana. Kapag binigyan ako ng chance ni coach,” Villarias said.