For the past two games, the tandem of Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar looked unstoppable as teams were having a difficult time figuring out how to neutralize them. But NLEX came prepared Wednesday night and veterans Asi Taulava and Enrico Villanueva had something in store for the much celebrated twin towers of Barangay Ginebra.
Aguilar went scoreless in the fourth period as Taulava and Villanueva made life miserable for him inside while Slaughter had to bleed for every point as the collapsing 2-3 zone defense of the Road Warriors worked like clockwork.
After scoring 17 points in the first three quarters, the 6-foot-9 Aguilar couldn’t make a basket when his team needed him most. Slaughter was hardly a factor, too, as he had only 13 points.
Taulava and Villanueva took pride in stopping their younger, taller, counterparts.
“It was all pride. We know they’re the future of the PBA and we just wanted to make it hard for them to get to their comfort zone,” Taulava told Tiebreaker Times in an exclusive interview.
But Taulava deferred credit to their coaching staff for coming up with a more efficient game plan that led to the Road Warriors’ second win in three games.
“Kudos to our coaching staff for the defensive game plan. We didn’t want to lose two games in a row as well,” he added.
For Villanueva, it’s an opportunity to show that he can co-exist with Taulava. “Asi gives me his trust. He noticed that my game is slowly coming back,” added Villanueva. “That’s one thing I’m very thankful for Asi. He believes kaya kong sumabay sa kanya.”
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