A COACHING change may be the next order of business for the NLEX Road Warriors.
Sources said the Metro North Tollways franchise is giving current head coach Boyet Fernandez until the end of the PBA season, or the current Governors Cup campaign, to turn the NLEX team around or face the ax.
Fernandez has won a championship with Sta. Lucia in the PBA, with NLEX in the D-League and with San Beda in the NCAA, but the Road Warriors have made little progress since joining the league last season.
The franchise has undergone improvements almost every conference, the most recent of which was the acquisition of Mac Baracael, Emman Monfort and James Forrester in separate trade deals.
Yet it has made little impact in the league.
Before the team was acquired by the Manny V. Pangilinan group, its predecessor Air21 was a consistent darkhorse that beat San Miguel in the quarters before taking eventual grand slam champion San Mig to the wire in a 2014 semifinal.
NLEX inherited the core of that team in Asi Taulava, Jonas Villanueva and Mac Cardona which it reinfoirced with the returning Sean Anthony, Kevin Alas and Garvo Lanete. But the team has not made it past the quarterfinals in its first five conferences in the league.
Now management is getting impatient.
“There are plans for a coaching change, we’re evaluating it now. But this will only come after the current season ends,” said a source.
“Nothing against Boyet, but everything is about performance and end results. Certainly, if you’re going to look back at how the team performed, it’s far from expectations,” he added.
So far, no names are being floated as possible candidates for the NLEX coaching job, but some of those said to be on the shortlist are Nash Racela, Jojo Lastimosa, Josh Reyes and Luigi Trillo.
All four are currently assistant coaches in MVP-owned teams.