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Fernandez hopes NLEX avoids sloppy start in next games



The NLEX Road Warriors got an early share of the PBA Philippine Cup lead after winning their first two games, although head coach Boyet Fernandez knows they haven’t been as impressive as the 2-0 record suggests.

“We started flat and did not execute our game plan. It’s like we wanted to finish the game right away, thinking we beat Barako in our preseason game,” Fernandez said as the Road Warriors had to come back from 13 points down to edge the Barako Bull Energy Wednesday.

NLEX trailed at halftime, and finally came out firing in the second half as they outscored Barako 35-18 in the third period. Fernandez gave credit to his second unit, which outscored the Energy bench 52-30 for the ample support.

“By halftime, I told them to get one stop at a time. I reminded them about the defensive mentality that we have been practicing,” Fernandez shared.

“We made stops right away and came back from 7 points down because of our defense. Then, we executed on offense. The other guys stepped up like Eric (Camson) to bring energy. Simon Enciso played his game and brought intensity to the team.”

Camson scored 8 points in over 10 minutes and was a perfect 3-for-3 from the field. He and Enciso were both plus-11, getting the job done in the third quarter to give NLEX some breathing room.

Fernandez is grateful for the team’s 2-0 start, but the mentor is wary they have a long way to go in the conference, and that they have not yet faced the league’s powerhouses.

“We haven’t done this for the past three conferences. It is credit to them. We are happy we are there but it is a long conference. We are facing the big teams,” he said.

Against the Star Hotshots which they will be battling next, Fernandez hopes the Road Warriors avoid a sloppy start.

“We are happy we got this one. Hope we can continue this. We are facing Star Hotshots and they are coming off a good win against Ginebra. We are preparing well against them and hopefully we don’t get the same bad start. We can’t afford to do that because Star plays well early.”