The NLEX Road Warriors return from a long 12-day breather Sunday, hoping to have kept their sharpness and spunk as they try to seal a Top Four finish in the elims as they go up against the Magnolia Hotshots in a key match in the PBA Governors Cup at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo.
Savoring view from the top, the Road Warriors look to push their surprise surge even as they expect a tough, tough fight versus the Hotshots who are eager to keep the fire of their own roll in a bid to formalize their quarterfinals entry.
Tipoff is at 6:45 p.m.
In winning their last two games against the Columbian Dyip and the Phoenix Fuel Masters, the Hotshots moved on the threshold of the playoffs with a 5-4 win-loss slate.
They clobbered the Fuel Masters, 97-81, to mark the entry of Chris Banchero in their lineup.
The guard-heavy Magnolia team, however, now faces the hottest team at the moment in the NLEX Road Warriors with their own solid backcourt rotation led by Kiefer Ravena, Jericho Cruz and Philip Paniamogan.
Then there's the prolific NLEX import Manny Harris, who sizzled with a triple-double outing in their last game against Rain or Shine and enter his fourth game in the local pro league with a whopping average of 42.5 points.
The Road Warriors have been unbeaten with Harris, thus, enjoying lofty perch atop the leaderboard entering the homestretch of the elims.
One win in their last three games will assure them of a Top Four finish in the elims and a twice-to-beat bonus in the quarterfinals.
NLEX coach Yeng Guiao said they themselves are surprised where they are right now.
"I hope we can hold on to it as long as we can. Ang importante sa amin, maka-Top Four kami para may twice-to-beat advantage," he said. "That's really the purpose. We never dreamed of No. 1, but if it's there, we will take it, of course."
The Road Warriors were left alone on top after the TNT KaTropa dropped their game against the Barangay Ginebra Kings Friday and in the process slid down to joint second with the Meralco Bolts at 7-2.
And right behind the joint second placers are joint fourth placers Ginebra and San Miguel Beer at 6-3.
The Road Warriors can guarantee themselves of at least a tie for third if they stretch their streak to five games against the Hotshots. (SB)