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Despite plethora of wingers, Ighalo proves he can still deliver for NLEX


Wednesday marked the season debut of Kenneth Ighalo when his NLEX faced off against Alaska in the 2021 Honda-PBA Philippine Cup action in Pampanga.

Yes, the seven-year pro did not see action in the Road Warriors’ first four outings in Pasig. But he hardly showed any rust whatsoever in his return.

In fact, he even played a major role for his side.

Ighalo came off the bench and fired 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field with three rebounds to help NLEX beat the Aces, 84-74.

He was one of those responsible for lifting the Road Warriors back from a 10-point hole in the third canto towards their third win of the conference.

Head coach Yeng Guiao couldn’t feel more proud of Ighalo. After all, the Mapua alum proved yet again that he will deliver when the chance is there.

2021-pba-philippine-cup-alaska-vs-nlex-mike-digregorio-vs-kenneth-ighalo Despite plethora of wingers, Ighalo proves he can still deliver for NLEX Basketball News PBA  - philippine sports news

Photo by PBA Images

“We have not given him the opportunity previously, but he proved that when given the opportunity he will deliver,” he said.

Guiao feels how Ighalo maximized his playing time, which took a hit with the arrival of fellow wingers Don Trollano and Tony Semerad.

He played for 21 minutes and 32 seconds.

“Maraming dumating doon sa position niya, sina Don Trollano, sina Tony Semerad, si Calvin Oftana. Talagang nabawasan minutes niya.

“But, he’s proven that he’s able to step up and he’s able to justify his playing time. So we’re very happy,” expressed the decorated mentor.

Kevin Alas earned Best Player honors with 17 points and seven boards. But if there’s another one who deserves the recognition, it’s Ighalo, according to Guiao.

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“I think crucial siya,” he said.

“Best player si Kevin nandito, pero I think Ken Ighalo is a close best player to Kevin dito sa laro na ‘to.”

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.


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