Aug 19, 2018

NLEX taps Aaron Fuller as substitute reinforcement

ANTIPOLO - The NLEX Road Warriors are set to bring back Aaron Fuller while Olu Ashaolu begins his rehab from an injured right knee that has bothered him during the team's two victories at the start of the PBA Governors' Cup.

Interim coach Jojo Lastimosa said Fuller is due to arrive Tuesday, though Ashaoulu will still suit up for the Road Warriors' match against the Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok the following day at the Smart Araneta Coliseum before beginning his recovery period.

"The deal is if (Olu) can rehab while Aaron is here and even get back and be healthy, then we got a good situation going," Lastimosa said after the Road Warriors' 123-107 win over the NorthPort Batang Pier at the Ynares Center.

"And Aaron was kind of okay with that contract that if Olu comes in and he's healthy, he's stepping in and Aaron will sit down," added Lastimosa, who is filling the head coaching duties while Yeng Guiao is in Jakarta handling the national team in the Asian Games.

Lastimosa once again hailed Ashaolu's play despite tearing his right patellar tendon during a tune-up game weeks earlier.

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The Nigerian-Canadian finished with 27 points against NorthPort, scoring 13 of those in the third quarter that saw NLEX pull away from a 61-58 halftime lead.

"He's defying the doctor's advice and he actually has a 70-percent tear (on his knee). It means that half of it is dangling already," the PBA legend said. "I don't know how he's playing but you gotta give the guy credit. He's showing tremendous heart because he really wants to play."

Ashaolu opened the Governors' Cup with 33 points and 23 rebounds Friday night when the Road Warriors clobbered TNT KaTropa, 103-90, at the same venue.(JT)