ALASKA tries to inch closer to a berth in the top four when it battles a struggling NLEX squad in the PBA Governors Cup on Tuesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
But coach Alex Compton said beating NLEX is easier said than done, noting the Road Warriors have a stacked-up roster that is capable of exploding any given day.
“NLEX is a well-coached, veteran team that plays smart basketball,” said Compton ahead of the 4:15 p.m. match.
A win will push Alaska back to a share of the lead with idle Barako Bull at 5-1.
“They have a dominant center in Asi (Taulava), a high flying import in (Kwame) Alexander, an excellent point guard in Jonas Villanueva and a bunch of shooters and scorers, including Michael Madanly and Macmac (Cardona) around these guys,” Compton added.
The Aces are coming off a morale-boosting 92-86 win over the Star Hotshots last week with import Romeo Travis registering a near triple-double of 27 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists.
For NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez, beating Alaska is a must if the Road Warriors are even entertaining thoughts of fighting for a spot in the quarterfinals.
“Tough task. Alaska is really playing well as a team. We are ready in terms of our game plan. It’s how we will execute that will be important,” stressed Fernandez, whose team is out to snap two-game slide after bowing to KIA Carnival (85-82) and Talk ‘N Text (108-89).
Imports Alexander and Madanly will be at the forefront of NLEX’s drive for playoff survival.
Alexander, the 2014 Sprite Slam Dunk champion in Los Angeles, has showed he’s more than just a rim-rattling dunker for NLEX.
The wide-bodied import out of Cal State San Bernardino is averaging 22.8 points, 15.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists for the Road Warriors this conference.
Madanly, on the other hand, has showed signs of recovering from neck spasm, which has forced him to miss one game this conference.
The 34-year-old former Fiba-Asia top scorer is coming off a 22-point performance against the Tropang Texters.