NLEX loses no time assembling the pieces of its team with three months to go before PBA Season 46 formally kicks off.
Will McAloney, Kenneth Ighalo, Bong Galanza, and Kris Porter were all signed to one year deals by the franchise Thursday night at the NLEX headquarters in Kalookan City.
Paul Varilla was supposed to sign together with the NLEX quartet, but the University of the East alum is still under quarantine after just arriving from the U.S. a few days ago.
PBA Board of Governor and MPTC (Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation) President and Chief Executive Officer Rod Franco was present during the contract signing along with coach and general manager Yeng Guiao, administrative officer and NLEX Vice President for tollway development and engineering Nemy Castillo, and team representative Ronald Dulatre.
The Road Warriors earlier signed veterans JR Quinahan, Raul Soyud, and Mike Miranda to join regulars Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Alas, and Jericho Cruz.
The team likewise owns the third and fourth picks, respectively in the 2021 rookie draft this March. The Road Warriors got the no. 3 pick from Blackwater out of the three-team deal involving Poy Erram while the no. 4 is NLEX's own following a ninth-place finish in the Philippine Cup bubble.
Behind the same core, NLEX finished with a 5-6 (win-loss) record in the lone conference of Season 45.
The Road Warriors actually won four of their last five games in the eliminations as it slightly missed the playoffs after being edged out by Rain or Shine (6-5) in the eighth and final quarterfinals berth.
Guiao said there were a lot of lessons the team learned from the more than a month of stay and competing inside the Clark bubble, which would the Road Warriors could adopt for the coming season.
"We'll take those lessons with us and be able to come out as a better team," he said.
"Now we'd like to start early, we'd like to be prepared physically and mentally." (RG)