For Kelly Nabong, he and the GlobalPort Batang Pier are shoo-ins for the 2017-18 Philippine Cup playoffs.
The bulky six-foot-six stretch forward is confident, as the Batang Pier have lifted their chances after withstanding a tough Kia Picanto challenge, 108-91, Wednesday evening at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
“No, no. It’s not an ‘if ever’. We’re making it to the playoffs. We’re making it to the playoffs.
“I mean, we have a young, good team. We just gotta keep believing in the system, keep playing defense, and everybody has to come to play 100 percent,” Nabong insisted after the match, where he registered his fifth double-double in the conference with 21 points and 13 rebounds.
Wednesday’s victory improves their card to 5-5, similar to the sixth-ranked Barangay Ginebra San Miguel. They have yet to formalize their entry into the playoffs, but their sights are already locked onto the Top Six, according to Nabong.
“We have one more game to get that spot in the best-of-three,” said the six-year veteran.
But reaching that goal won’t come easy, as they have to get through a dangerous Phoenix Fuel Masters side, who are playing Blackwater Elite as of press time. Phoenix, sitting at eighth, are also pressed to enter the quarterfinals.
“Phoenix is coming up and they’re a tough team. They’re very aggressive, so we gotta be locked in,” opined Nabong.
“We just have to lock down on defense, we have to move the ball, and make our open shots.”