NLEX determined to stop Brownlee, Thompson in semis duel

Published March 21, 2022, 2:02 AM

by Jonas Terrado

Photo from PBA

NLEX coach Yeng Guiao said his team will have its work cut out against a Barangay Ginebra San Miguel squad carrying plenty of momentum going into their PBA Governors’ Cup semifinal series.

The Road Warriors advanced to the best-of-five series after finishing off the Alaska Aces, 96-80, in their do-or-die quarterfinal over the weekend, but Guiao said they’ll need to put a proper game plan in order to hurdle the Gin Kings.

Ginebra beat TNT twice in the quarters behind the all-around efforts of import Justin Brownlee and Scottie Thompson, players Guiao identified as those expected to give NLEX plenty of trouble.

“Problema talaga si Scottie,” Guiao said. “From yung unang laro pa lang nila ng TNT sa quarterfinals, siya na yung key player.

“We will just have to find the proper matchups, not only for Scottie, but of course dun sa resident import nila, si Justin Brownlee, he’s a big factor,” he added.

Brownlee played like he was out to prove something against TNT, averaging 33.5 points on 55-percent shooting with 4.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.0 blocks in Ginebra’s twin victories over TNT.

Thompson also had a huge impact in the quarters with 20.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 8.5 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks as his all-around activity gave Ginebra plenty of extra possessions, key stops and crucial baskets.

But Guiao also pointed out other aspects in Ginebra’s progress, particularly with how its big men have suddenly found ways to mesh.

“I think they’re gaining chemistry with Japeth and Christian. Gumaganda yung chemistry nila. They’re learning how to play together,” said Guiao.

“I think that’s a big problem for any team that plays them,” Guiao added as he continues to dissect what things his Road Warriors can do to replicate what they’ve done in the eliminations by defeating the Gin Kings.

But the difference now is that NLEX will be playing with Cam Clark, who came in after KJ McDaniels left with the team’s blessing due to his wife giving birth.

Kevin Alas, Don Trollano, JR Quinahan and rookie Matt Nieto are also going to be tapped to play well as the Road Warriors enter just their second semifinal in franchise history.