NLEX sticking with Al Thornton despite 0-2 start
MANILA, Philippines - The NLEX Road Warriors haven’t gotten off to the quick start they hoped for in the 2015 PBA Commissioner’s Cup as they’ve dropped their first two games to the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and Alaska Aces.
Both matches were close: NLEX lost to ROS just by five, and fell to the Philippine Cup runners-up Alaska by just one point.
In the second game, the Road Warriors even had an opportunity to win at the buzzer, but their import Al Thornton’s off-balance drive to the rim - which could have also drawn a number of fouls - resulted to a missed opportunity for his team.
But even with their 0-2 start, NLEX doesn’t plan on replacing their import. “As of now, our import is proving himself well,” said Head Coach Boyet Fernandez.
“He’s getting his groove. He’s scoring, he gets us rebounds. He’s doing the things that we want from our import. So we appreciate what he’s doing. It’s up to locals to step up.”
When asked to grade his import’s performance so far, Fernandez gave him an eight. Why not 10? “Cause we’re losing,” he said. “If nanalo, 10 siguro.” (if we were winning, I’d probably give him a 10.)
Thornton is averaging 33.5 PPG, 12.5 RPG, and 1.0 BPG this conference. He’s shooting 47% from the field, and has gone 4-of-10 from downtown. In 80 minutes of play, he’s already made it to the free throw line 26 times, sinking 21 charities.
“We’re sticking with Al. We’re happy with what we’re seeing with Al,” said Fernandez.
NLEX will be back in action on Wednesday, February 11, against the 3-0 Purefoods Star Hotshots.
“We’re happy with the way we’re playing right now,” the head coach said. “We just have to improve our team defense and our execution.”
NLEX has allowed both their opponents to score 96 points in each game thus far.
But even with their defensive troubles and slow beginning to the Commissioner’s Cup, the team isn’t looking to make a change.
Not with their import, and, as of now, not with their other roster pieces, as Fernandez says the Road Warriors aren’t in negotiation for any trades.
In these changing times, courage and clarity become even more important.
Take discussions to the next level with Rappler PLUS — your platform for deeper insights, closer collaboration, and meaningful action.
Sign up today and access exclusive content, events, and workshops curated especially for those who crave clarity and collaboration in an intelligent, action-oriented community.
As a bonus, we’re also giving a free 1-year Booky Prime membership for the next 200 subscribers.
You can also support Rappler without a PLUS membership. Help us stay free and independent by making a donation: https://www.rappler.com/crowdfunding. Every contribution counts.