NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez rued import Kwame Alexander’s inconsistency which factored in the Road Warriors’ disappointing finish in the PBA Governors’ Cup.
While appreciating his effort, Fernandez felt the American hardly lived up to expectations as an immediate replacement for original choice Rob Jones just a few days before the start of the season-ending conference.
“If Kwame had just been consistent every time, I think we’d be a better team,” Fernandez said after the Road Warriors’ 110-107 loss to Ginebra in the final day of eliminations on Wednesday night.
NLEX closed out its stint with a 3-8 record and failed to make the playoffs for the first time this season.
Alexander averaged 27.7 points in the three wins, but just 17.5 points in their eight losses as the Road Warriors made an early exit in the tournament.
Alexander finished his stint by scoring only 12 points – his second lowest output this conference – 15 boards, and four assists before fouling out after just 30 minutes of play against the Gin Kings.
The Road Warriors had a chance to replace Alexander late in the conference when their playoff hopes were dwindling, but eventually decided to stay with the norm.
“I’m still happy we stuck with him,” Fernandez said. “He fought hard.”
Fernandez found the consistency from Asian import Mike Madanly, who recovered after hurting his neck in the team’s first game of the conference, a 101-96 loss to Barako Bull, as the Syrian sniper went on to become the team’s second-leading scorer, averaging 19.7 points on 31.7 percent clip (27-of-87) from three-point range in 30.4 minutes.
“Mike fit really well,” Ferandnez said of the 6-foot-3 Madanly, who occasionally played emergency point guard, dishing out 2.4 assists per contest, behind Jonas Villanueva and Rudy Lingganay.
Fernandez admitted the Road Warriors’ need to get a true playmaker for the next Philippine Cup.
“Jonas needs support. Jonas is our ‘default’ point guard,” Fernandez said of the veteran combo guard out of Far Eastern University. “But I’m happy with the way he stepped up his game this season. We’re looking for a stable point guard.”
“And a power forward to help Asi (Taulava) and Enrico (Villaneuva) sa post,” he added. “Aldrech (Ramos) and KG (Canaleta) are stretch-4s. We don’t have a power forward who can bang bodies in the paint.”