FRANKIE Lim kept NLEX in contention for a quarterfinal seat by winning games against two of his former coaches in his first conference with the ballclub.
The Road Warriors defeated Meralco, 92-81, on Wednesday to remain in the hunt for that No. 8 spot in the quarterfinals. Lim in the process beat Norman Black, his former coach at San Miguel during his final year as a PBA player in 1996.
In his brief PBA comeback so far, Lim has also defeated Chot Reyes and Tim Cone, also his former coaches when he played for Purefoods and Alaska, respectively, in a long PBA career.
“Nataon lang siguro. Siyempre, pa-humble tayo. Natapat,” said Lim in jest, when told that he had defeated his former coaches in his first conference with the Road Warriors.
NLEX concluded its elimination round campaign with a 5-7 win-loss card, and has become the MVP group’s lone standard bearer in the race to the playoffs. The Road Warriors hope Rain or Shine loses to Magnolia on Friday to set the stage for a knockout game for the No. 8 spot.
But Lim said he and the team do not look too far ahead, focusing on the game and not on the possible scenarios.
“Before the game, sinasabi ko sa kanila, 'I want to think about this game and not the things that will happen tomorrow, next week, or what. Just win this game first and will see what’s going to happen.'
"Rain or Shine will play Magnolia, and Meralco will still play San Miguel. Bahala sila sa game nila. Basta kami, tapos na. Nag-aantay kami,” said Lim.
The Road Warriors may end up getting eliminated, but Lim is happy to see the team finally turn things around after being weighed down by injuries and illnesses to key players during the campaign.
“Hindi kami nakumpleto eh. There were times na Matt [Nieto] is out, Don [Trollano] got positive at one time, tapos Kevin [Alas] sprained his ankle. Kulang-kulang kami lagi. Ngayon lang nabubuo. Things are getting better,” said Lim.