A CONFIDENT Barangay Ginebra guns for a third straight win and the solo lead when it faces newcomer NLEX in the PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Behind 'Twin Towers' of Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar, the Gin Kings opened the season with huge victories over Talk ’N Text (101-81) and KIA Motors (87-55).
Ginebra coach Jeffrey Cariaso isn’t taking NLEX lightly, knowing man-mountain slotman Asi Taulava and the team’s resident shooter Nino Canaleta as well as Aldrech Ramos are capable of spreading the floor.
“NLEX will be tough because of Asi and their stretch fours like Ramos and KG,” Cariaso said on the eve of the team’s 7 p.m. match versus the Road Warriors (1-1).
Cariaso believes the Road Warriors are no longer “new” in the league, having retained the core of the Air21 squad.
“They are experienced and capable of beating anyone on any given night,” he added.
“Their guards are a handful to defend.”
The 6-foot-9 Aguilar has gotten off to a great start this season, leading the team with double-double averages of 19 points and 15 rebounds along with four blocks.
Slaughter also owns a double-double average of 16 points and 11.5 rebounds, while adding 1.5 swats.
NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez said they are well aware of the kind of damage the Aguilar-Slaughter combination can bring.
“We watched the tapes and the games live and makikita natin malaki na ang improvement ni Japeth. Kaya magiging problema siya sa ibang team,” noted Fernandez, whose team is coming off a 103-81 spanking at the hands of sister team Talk ’N Text.