FROM a promising team that shocked powerhouse Barangay Ginebra more than two weeks ago, NLEX has suddenly fallen into hard times in the PBA Philippine Cup.
And veteran slotman Asi Taulava was quick to pin the blame on the players themselves from veering away from the game plan of coach Boyet Fernandez.
“Right now, we just got to believe in the system of coach Boyet. It’s a rocky start, but it’s on the players,” rued Taulava, who tried to carry the Road Warriors by his lonesome in their latest loss against Purefoods on Friday, 92-76, after finishing with 21 points and 16 rebounds for his third double-double of the season.
“We need to follow the orders of coach Boyet’s game plan. It didn’t help that we gave easy baskets,” the evergreen big man added, pointing to the Hotshots’ 19 assists during the game.
NLEX readily sent shock waves to the league two weeks ago following its 97-81 upset of the Kings.
Unfortunately, the Road Warriors failed to follow up on that emphatic win after losing successively to Meralco Bolts (90-75), San Miguel Beermen (79-76) in Tubod, Lanao del Norte, and the Hotshots.
Taulava, the Comeback Player of the Year last season, said commitment to defense is a must for the Road Warriors to be able to arrest their three-game slump.
Good thing is, NLEX has a week to prepare before going back to action against lowly Blackwater, which has yet to win in six outings in its maiden season in the league.
“We just got to keep working, and us players should take full responsibility. It’s just lucky for us we got Blackwater next against my former boss,” he said with a chuckle.
“I don’t think he’s (Blackwater owner Dioceldo Sy) very happy looking to play against me, but I’m looking forward to it, be at attack mode, and play defense.”
Taulava began his basketball career in the country playing under Blu Detergent team, the franchise owned by Sy in the defunct Philippine Basketball League (PBL) during the late 1990s.