IT’S better late than never as NLEX makes its PBA Commissioner’s Cup debut on Saturday with an import that has only been with the squad for less than a week, taking on Columbian Dyip at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
Supposedly bringing in former NBA player Arnett Moultrie, the Road Warriors are instead parading Adrian Forbes as replacement after their original choice was held up by his team in Bahrain.
Forbes came in only last Saturday and had just one tune-up game with the Road Warriors last Wednesday when they lost to Ginebra.
“It’s a little worrying, pero wala kaming magawa kasi beyond our control yun nangyari sa import eh,” NLEX coach Yeng Guiao admitted ahead of their road game against Columbian at 4:30 p.m.
The Road Warriors still put the offensive-minded Moultrie on the reserve list while evaluating Forbes, a defense-oriented 6-foot-9 big man.
“Kaya rin namin naisipan ‘to si Forbes na even if we have to sacrifice a bit of the offense – but he can score, around the basket, he can score – maybe we’re hoping that his defense can compensate for that,” Guiao said.
Forbes matches up with a fellow defense-first import in the Dyip’s CJ Aiken, who also showed he can score by putting up 21 points on 19 shots along with 18 boards, four blocks, and one assist in 42 minutes in their 116-103 loss to Meralco on Wednesday night.
The Road Warriors have also activated Ronjay Buenafe in place of Kevin Alas, who is recovering from a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) that will sideline him for the entire midseason tournament.
TNT KaTropa and Phoenix each aim for the second win as they face off in the second game at 6:45 p.m.