MERALCO tries to score a second straight victory, while NLEX hopes to finally make it to the win column as the sister teams collide on Wednesday in the PBA Governors Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome.
The Bolts lost its opening game to Meralco but has evened its record with an overtime win over San Miguel Beer to take a place at midtable.
The Road Warriors, on the other hand, has started the tournament with two straight losses, bowing to Barako Bull and Star.
The game is set at 4:15 p.m.
Boosting the injury-depleted Bolts is Japanese import Seiya Ando, tapped to replace Iranian guard Benny Koochoie.
Ando, a 5-foot-11 point guard, is fresh from a stint at the National Basketball Association-Canada, where he helped Halifax Rainmen to a runner-up finish.
Meralco team manager Paolo Trillo said Ando have secured the clearance from the Canadian team.
“We finally got his clearance and the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation working visa,” Trillo told Spin.ph on Wednesday.
Koochoie failed to play a single game for the Bolts due to unresolved issues with his former team Gorgan in the Iran Super League.
Ando’s playmaking skills will be vital for the Bolts, who opened the conference minus Fil-Am guard Jared Dillinger and will now miss the services of backup point guard Simon Atkins due to a right knee injury.
Coach Norman Black hopes the Bolts will continue their fluid ball movement against the Road Warriors.
“There was much better balance on offense. (American import) Andre Emmett is learning to share the ball with other players. He did a good job of that last game as facilitator and the benefit of it was the fact that some of the locals were able to score also,” said Black, whose team holds a 3-1 head-to-head duel with NLEX this season.
Emmett, the 2015 NBA D-League All-Star MVP, is averaging 36.0 points, 12.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists.
With American import Kwame Alexander finally showing his potential, NLEX could pose a threat to Meralco.
Alexander, the 2014 Sprite Slam Dunk Showdown champion in Los Angeles has showed that he’s more than just a rim-rattling dunker after posting 25 points and 26 rebounds against the Hotshots last week.
NLEX also hopes the 24-year-old Alexander would get help from Syrian import Michel Madanly, who has battled neck spasm since the team’s opening game against Barako Bull.