The NLEX Road Warriors hit a speed bump last Saturday, as they got victimized by the Phoenix LPG Fuel Masters in a 111-97 loss. It’s just their first loss of the season, though,  so there’s nothing for them to feel alarmed about. The Magnolia Chicken Timplados, on the other hand, are undefeated through three games. In their last outing, the Timplados pounded out a 94-92 win against the TNT Tropang Giga.

Catch this game live on Wednesday,  October 12 at 5:45 pm, Manila time.

NLEX Road Warriors (2-1)

Projected Starting Five:

  • PG: Matt Nieto
  • SG: Kevin Alas
  • SF: Don Trollano
  • PF: Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser
  • C: Earl Clark

The Road Warriors will look to get back in the win column Wednesday, while also hoping that import Earl Clark continues to be hot on offense. Clark dropped 36 points on 15/25 shooting in the loss to Phoenix to go with 20 rebounds and eight assists in 44 minutes. But NLEX obviously can’t just let Clark do all the work, especially defensively. 

So far this conference, NLEX has allowed each team they’ve faced to score at least 90 points. The offense has been compensating for NLEX’s gaffes on the other side of the floor most of the time, but to beat a team like Magnolia, the Road Warriors are going to need to be at the top of their game on both ends. The Road Warriors have a top-six offense that is averaging 99.3 points per game.


Magnolia Chicken Timplados (3-0)

Projected Starting Five:

  • PG: Paul Lee
  • SG: Mark Barroca
  • SF: Rome dela Rosa
  • PF: Rafi Reavis
  • C: Nicholas Rakocevic

First off, Magnolia received good news about import Nicholas Rakocevic’s health. Rakocevic has been cleared of any major injury after hurting his knee in the win over the Tropang Giga on Oct. 5. He’s already gotten the green light to play Wednesday against NLE. Given that he’s been able to get a full week of rest by the time Magnolia takes on the Road Warriors, Rakocevic should be at the very least close to his 100% form again. 

Rakocevic’s ability to bully into the paint and score baskets at the rim even when defended by opposing imports has been crucial to the success of the Chicken Timplados, who are generating 101.0 points per game on the strength of their inside presence. In fact, Magnolia is topping the league with 29.3 2-point field goals made per contest. That doesn’t bode well for NLEX’s faulty defense.


Spread: Magnolia (-7.5) covers the spread.

Over/Under: The total (198.5) hits the Over.