After claiming the scalp of defending champion Barangay Ginebra, the NLEX Road Warriors now seek the hide of another heavyweight in San Miguel Beer.
The Road Warriors gave the Gin Kings a rude welcome in the newly-opened 46th Philippine Cup, handing the debuting holders a 94-75 loss, and at 6 p.m. Friday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City, coach Yeng Guiao and his charges (1-1) look to make it back-to-back against a Terrence Romeo-less San Miguel side (0-1).
Guiao, whose team dropped their season-opener, 82-83 to Rain or Shine, emphasized the importance of adjusting quickly considering the pandemic situation and the absence of tune-up matches prior to gametime.
"Masyadong abnormal talaga itong situation natin ngayon. You can't say if what you see is the true strengths of the teams," he said.
"We've had few struggles for the past few months; just practicing was a struggle. And then pagpasok ng liga, wala namang tuneup games. So itong 3-4 games na makikita natin, dito pa lang talaga mag-aadjust ang mga teams," he added.
Kiefer Ravena and Kevin Alas have been at the top of their games for Guiao so far. Ravena averaged 21 points, three rebounds, six assists and three steals while Alas is good for 16.5 markers, four boards and four dimes.
The Beermen are out for a bounce back after falling to Meralco, 87-93, last Sunday.
Former five-peat All-Filipino king SMB paraded a full complement in their season debut with six-time MVP June Mar Fajardo and Terrence Romeo back from injuries and trade acquisition CJ Perez playing for the first time.
Unfortunately, Romeo hyperextended his left knee and failed to finish the game against Meralco.
"He can't play (Friday) because of his injury," team manager Gee Abanilla said of Romeo, who shot 18 before he limped out of the court. (OL)