Struggling teams Purefoods, NLEX try to get back on track
Coach Boyet Fernandez's Road Warriors are half a game ahead of Purefoods, but they understand the Hotshots' current standing doesn't exactly show the champion team's true worth. Jerome Ascano

TWO struggling teams try to get back on the winning track as newcomer NLEX takes on reigning PBA Philippine Cup champion Purefoods Star on Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Road Warriors (2-3) are on a two-game slide after dropping matches to sister team Meralco Bolts (75-90), and San Miguel Beermen (76-79) in Tubod, Lanao del Norte last weekend.

Although NLEX is half a game ahead of Purefoods Star (1-3) in the standings, coach Boyet Fernandez is wary of the defending champion’s ability to bounce back with its roster of veterans led by James Yap, Peter June Simon, Joe Devance and Marc Pingris.

“Purefoods with a complete line up will be a hard matchup. We have to play tomorrow with a commitment to play defense so we can limit their stars and make the game close,” said Fernandez on the eve of their 7 p.m. match.

“Tough game but we are ready.”

Purefoods Star coach Tim Cone feels at this point, there’s no use talking because the more urgent thing to do is start winning.

“Not much to say really. At this point, we need our play to do the talking. We just can’t afford to fall further behind the leaders,” said Cone, the PBA’s all-time winning coach.

The Hotshots got plastered by the Barangay Ginebra Kings, 89-66, in their first meeting this season last Sunday.

“Nandito na kami sa 1-3. Marami na kaming ganito sa championships namin, nag-slow start lahat, pero sabi ni coach, moving forward na lang sa ginagawa namin,” said Purefoods Star guard Mark Barroca.

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