NLEX import Earl Clark kept alive his chance of playing in the PBA Commissioner's Cup quarterfinals at the expense of Meralco and its import KJ McDaniels on Wednesday night.
Clark scored 40 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the 92-81 win over Meralco that improve the Road Warriors' record to 5-7 and kept them in the hunt for a possible playoff for the eighth and final playoff spot.
McDaniels, who played for NLEX during the 2021 Governors’ Cup, was incidentally the reason why Clark signed up to play in the PBA.
“Actually, before I came to the PBA, I reached out to KJ and asked him how was the league, how was his time here. (He said) nothing but great things. KJ is a heck of a player. Great guy,” said Clark of the former NBA player.
Clark said he is happy that his stint in the PBA could be extended into at least a playoff for the No. 8 berth, which will happen if Rain or Shine loses to Magnolia on Friday.
“I’m dying for the playoffs. Once we got the opportunity, I was super hyped. I couldn’t sleep last night. I’m glad we all got the win. It’s much better coming back from 18 [points]. It was a pretty good one,” said Clark.
Clark was key to the win, scoring 25 points in the second half to lead the comeback from 18 points down. He can see the team coming together following a transition period where Lim came in as the new coach replacing Yeng Guiao.
“I think it starts from practice. If you guys come to our practice, you’ll say we are the best team in the league. We compete every day, we play a lot of games, it’s competitive. I think it’s finally transferring over.
"We have a good flow on offense. Obviously, Don (Trollano) has been playing much better. He has found his rhythm. Once that happens, they still have to cover the other guys. They also hit key shots,” said Clark.