WEEK 2 of PBA Bacolor play comes to an end Sunday with a closer pitting the NLEX team that's on a slide and the NorthPort squad that's on a rise.
The Road Warriors seek to snap a two-game losing skein while the Batang Pier go for a follow-up on their romp over the Blackwater Bossing as they clash at 7 p.m. at the DHVSU Gym.
The aim for both is to beef up position in the Top Eight or boost their quarterfinal hopes nearing the homestretch of the one-round-robin elimination phase.
From among the early front-runners, the Road Warriors have dropped down to sixth place at 4-4 after back-to-back losses to the Magnolia Hotshots (102-112 in overtime) and the TNT Tropang Giga (85-100).
After their slide in extra time against the Hotshots, the struggle continued for the Road Warriors leading to their 15-point rout by the Tropang Giga Friday.
The Batang Pier, meanwhile, came out strong and pumped-up from a long layoff and blasted the Bossing, 98-73, Thursday even with coach Pido Jarencio and his staff confined in isolation observing the health and safety protocols of the league.
Results of next tests will determine the return to duty of the NorthPort coaches.
But the Batang Pier have proven they're real pros, helping one another and responding well to team manager and interim mentor Boni Tan in their conquest of Blackwater.
Tan, however, insists Jarencio's system is at work.
Tan also lauds their players, especially the veterans, making special mention of Sean Anthony, Kevin Ferrer, Robert Bolick and Greg Slaughter.
These four players themselves are expected to lead the way for their team versus the Road Warriors now feeling crunch sans main man Kiefer Ravena. (SB)