Null
Null
in ,

PBA: NLEX, TNT in crucial tiff

NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)
NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)

By Jonas Terrado

TNT KaTropa begins a new life without longtime mainstay Ranidel de Ocampo as it tries to spoil NLEX’s bid to reclaim the solo lead tonight in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

De Ocampo’s nine-year association with the TNT franchise ended Monday night when he was dealt to Meralco in a three-team trade that also involved Phoenix, further solidifying the KaTropa’s current trend of having the young players run the show.

NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao  (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)
NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao (MB photo | Rio Leonelle Deluvio)
The KaTropa, entering the 7 p.m. contest with the Road Warriors carrying a 5-3 record, got some frontline help it has been lacking in recent years by obtaining Justin Chua from Meralco and Norbert Torres from Phoenix in the deal.

Meantime, Rain or Shine looks to stay in contention for the twice-to-beat advantage in the 4:15 p.m. opener Phoenix, which has lost seven in a row after a 2-0 start.

The Elasto Painters are tied with the struggling Star Hotshots for sixth at 4-3, half-game behind the KaTropa and the Beermen for fourth.

Out to lead Rain or Shine are Raymond Almazan, Jericho Cruz, Gabe Norwood and two-time MVP James Yap.

Also crucial for ROS is how import J’Nathan Bullock responds after losing to the San Miguel Beermen the last time.

TNT coach Nash Racela hopes to see an improved showing after describing his team as “unstable” due to numerous distractions – namely the national team commitments of Jayson Castro, Roger Pogoy and Troy Rosario and the arrival of import Glen Rice Jr. in lieu of Michael Craig.

Rice has somehow proven that he’s the right fit for the team, averaging 31.8 points, 9.4 rebounds and 4.0 assists in five games. The son of former NBA star Glen Rice has produced four straight games of at least 30 points after a lackluster debut against Rain or Shine last Aug. 20.

“Ngayong nakukumpleto na kami, sana makabwelo din kami,” Racela said after TNT’s 113-107 win over Meralco last week.

Out to spoil this latest transition that hit the MVP group’s flagship franchise is its sister team NLEX, seeking to close in on a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.

Tied with Ginebra at the top with identical 7-2 slates, NLEX would like nothing more than to get closer on that elusive bonus as it enters the final turn of the eliminations.

“Our mission is to get to eight wins ASAP. Two tough games to accomplish that, TNT is the first big hurdle,” Guiao said.

The fiery mentor is also hoping that the De Ocampo trade would benefit them, though wary of the KaTropa’s main weapons.

“We hope the RDO trade is going to create some adjustment issues that can work to our advantage. We need to pay attention to defending Jayson, Pogoy and their import to increase our chances of being the first to make the twice to beat advantage,” he added.

What do you think?

Written by Tempo Online

FILE - In this July 31, 2014, file photo, a North Korean woman works at the Kim Jong Suk Pyongyang textile factory in Pyongyang, North Korea. This is the country's largest textile factory. North Korea will be feeling the pain of new United Nations’ sanctions targeting some of its biggest remaining foreign revenue streams, like textiles, joint ventures and remittances from its legion of workers abroad. But Pyongyang is almost certainly breathing a sigh of relieve that the Security Council eased off the biggest target of all, North Korea’s access to the oil it needs to stay alive - and to fuel its million-man military. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File)

New sanctions on North Korea

epa06199059 Filipinos collect recyclable trash washed up in a flooded community in Quezon City, east of Manila, Philippines, 12 September 2017. According to the latest forecast from the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) state weather bureau, Tropical Depression 'Maring' brought heavy rain causing floods, cancellation of classes and suspension of work in the government in Manila and Luzon as it continued to intensify heading for Southern Luzon. PAGASA said it is also monitoring another weather disturbance, Typhoon Talim which has winds of up to 120 kph and gusts of 145 kph. EPA-EFE/ROLEX DELA PENA

‘Maring’ brings heavy rains in Luzon