NLEX has vowed to be a “very competitive” in the PBA in two years time following its recent purchase of the Air21 franchise.
NLEX consultant Allan Gregorio said during Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum that team officials led by Metro Pacific Investments Corporation president Ramoncito Fernandez want to form a squad that can hold its own against the best teams in the PBA.
“Ramoncito Fernandez is telling us two years,” Gregorio told mediamen. “The team should be very, very competitive in 2016. I don’t know if that means winning the championship in two years but word is in six conferences, NLEX will have to be really very competitive in the PBA.”
Gregorio said NLEX’s chances of winning a PBA title after dominating the PBA D-League is achievable in a short period of time following its the purchase of Air21, which is already a playoff team in itself, instead of entering the pro league via expansion.
“Air21 team naman is very much ready to compete at a higher level of basketball rather than NLEX coming in as a new franchise. Talagang napakahirap ng challenge of forming a competitive team,” said Gregorio.
NLEX's purchase of Air21 meant that all members of the Express squad will be retained by the Road Warriors. But Gregorio said changes could still be made as all the Express members will be evaluated and see whether they can join NLEX.
“Everybody will have to be evaluated and that includes offer na puwede ibigay kay Asi Taulava, Macmac Cardona and the other members of Air21,” said Gregorio.