GLOBALPORT is still a win away from clinching its spot in the PBA Philippine Cup playoffs, yet Kelly Nabong is acting as if the Batang Pier have already booked their ticket following a 108-91 win against Kia on Wednesday night.
Don't mistake that for being cocky, though. The Filipino-American big man is just exuding confidence and belief in his team after their fifth win in 10 games for a share of sixth place with Ginebra.
“It's not an 'if ever we're making to the playoffs.' We're making the playoffs," Nabong beamed. "I mean, we have a young, good team. We just gotta keep believing in the system, keep playing defense, and everybody has to come to play 100 percent."
Nabong sustained his confident play by putting up 21 points, 13 boards, five blocks, and only one turnover in almost 30 minutes as a starter against the Picanto.
That makes the prized offseason recruit one of only three players this conference with at least five double-doubles, the others being SMB's June Mar Fajardo and Blackwater's Poy Erram.
And Nabong is hoping to continue his solid performance for his team to lock up its position that entails a best-of-three quarterfinal series instead of a twice-to-win disadvantage if they fall to either seventh or eighth place.
"We took care of business tonight but it doesn't stop, eliminations are not over yet so we have one more game to get that spot in the best-of-three," Nabong said. "We just have to lock down on defense, we have to move the ball, make our open shots.
"Phoenix is coming up and they're a tough team, they're very aggressive so we gotta be locked in," he added.