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Fernandez, Lanete say flat start made it difficult for NLEX anew


Coming off a morale-boosting 104-99 win over Meralco last Friday, the NLEX Road Warriors were expected to carry the momentum over to Sunday night’s game against TNT.

But the exact opposite happened, as NLEX started out misfiring and flat, allowing the Tropa to jump to a commanding 29-4 lead in the first quarter.

NLEX missed their first 10 field goal attempts, and the first 15 of 18. TNT led by as much as 27, and though the Road Warriors battled back, the slow start really bothered head coach Boyet Fernandez.

“I am surprised. What we did yesterday was just walkthrough, viewing, because I want to conserve the legs of my players . We tried to manage that,” Fernandez said.

“May in-adjust kaming konti sa double-team kay (David) Simon pero sa simula pa lang parang naguluhan sila so we went back to one on one defense. Ganun lang yun, adjustments lang. Pero we really started flat. It (defense) was flat in the first half kaya medyo nabaon kami. Kung gusto talaga namin manalo, hindi pwede magpabaon ng ganoon. Tsaka kailangan magstart kami ng maayos. Kasi ang sama talaga ng start namin eh.”

Fernandez added that he needs more contributors on offense. In the loss, only Al Thornton (35 points, 15 rebounds) and Garvo Lanete (20 points, 4-for-8 three-pointers) finished with double-digits.

“It’s more of consistency sa amin. Like for example Kevin (Alas) played well against Meralco, na-check siya ngayon. Sean also, yung production on offense.”

Lanete said falling behind early has been a trend for the Road Warriors, and while they are able to win some of those matches by rallying back, the gunner said they just can’t afford to be the ones trailing every time.

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“Every game kasi parang lagi na lang kami nalalamangan. Yung ibang games nananalo kami sa come form behind. Pero hindi naman lagi ganun mananalo kami sa habol lang lagi,” Lanete shared.

“Yun ang kailangan naming i-adjust. Dapat magstart strong kami. Kasi yung game na yun hindi na dapat aabutin sa ganun kung maganda ung simula namin, kung di kami nagpatambak.”

NLEX had 17 turnovers, leading to 26 extra points for the Tropa. The Tropa also had eight more fastbreak points, and controlled the interior with a 42-16 lead in points in the paint.

The Road Warriors shot only 36% from the field, and 25% from three-point area. Such starts are what the team hopes to avoid the next time out.

“Humabol ulit kami pero kinapos. Ang layo kasi, ang laki na ng nilamang sa amin. Hirap kami pag ganun. Hindi naman lagi mananalo ng ganyan.”

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