Sep 29, 2022

Tierra, Road Warriors eye second straight win against Bossing

FRANKIE Lim's return to active coaching for NLEX may still have to wait, but it doesn't mean he has been idle.

Armed with some specific instructions from Lim and still to be steered by chief deputy Adonis Tierra, the Road Warriors are looking for a second straight win when they battle Blackwater Friday in the PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Gametime is 3 p.m.

"Siyempre, magiging konsepto ng game against them konsepto na ni coach Frankie," related Tierra, who handled the reins while Lim's takeover was put on hold on opening day last Wednesday when NLEX launched its post-Yeng Guiao campaign with a 96-90 win over its former coach and Rain or Shine.

Lim, who was officially appointed only last Tuesday, also had a pending one-game suspension imposed on him during his last stint in the pro league in 2015 and was supposed to serve that out against Meralco last Sunday. But the scheduled doubleheader that day was canceled due to the threat of Typhoon Karding.

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That leaves Tierra still handling the reins in lieu of Lim, who nevertheless has been overseeing the team's practices the past week and has made it clear what he wants.

"Gusto niya fast-paced ang opensa, takbuhan ang kalaban kung kaya, if we have the numbers. Otherwise, we have to mix it up dahil may mga halfcourt sets naman kami," said Tierra. "Sa depensa naman depende sa kalaban kung mag-zo-zone kami or man-to-man. Mabilis namang na-pick up ng players."

Having a well-laid plan and executing it well is a must against Blackwater, which bounced back from an 87-133 drubbing from guest team Bay Area earlier on opening day with a 97-85 thrashing of Phoenix last Saturday.

Six players, including new acquisitions Troy Rosario and Gab Banal, scored in double figures for the Bossing, but coach Ariel Vanguardia maintained his crew still has a lot of work ahead of it. "We're still a work in progress," he stated.

Tierra acknowledged that NLEX should be in for a long, tough night.

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"Mabigat na kalaban ang Blackwater," he said. "Siguro, 'yung unang talo nila parang nagging eake-up call sa kanila kaya maganda inilaro nila last time, against Phoenix."

One interesting sidelight to the game should be the duel between the two teams' respective imports.

Earl Clark had a solid debut for NLEX with 26 points, 14 rebounds, six blocks, four assists and the same number of steals while Carl Krutwig did much better than in his 11-point, 12-rebound debut against the Dragons, notching 17 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists against the Fuel Masters. (NC)