NLEX ready to win in Dubai; Interview with Asi Taulava, Mac Cardona, KG Canaleta

The NLEX Road Warriors represents the Philippines in this year's Dubai International Basketball Championship.  We talked to the team ahead of their opening game tonight.

Asi shared how he keeps himself in tip-top shape especially with the challenge of the upcoming PBA Commissioner's Cup where he sees himself playing against bigger imports.  The team is doing good and the players, coaching staff and management appreciate the efforts of their NBA veteran import, Al Thornton - the results are getting better and better each day.

In addition to preparing for the next PBA conference, Asi assures that this Dubai tilt will be fun. They're targeting to finish the eliminations in the top 2 for a better road to the playoffs, and eventually win the crown.

Al Thornton was drafted 14th overall by the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2007 NBA Draft.  He averaged 12.7 points per game in his first season in the league. He was selected in the All-NBA Rookie First Team,

After 3 seasons with the Clippers, Thornton moved to Washington Wizards (2010-2011) and the Golden State Warriors (2011).

The following years saw him playing for China Zhejiang Lions and Puerto Rico Guayama Wizards. NLEX Road Warriors will be his 3rd international stop.

Here's the full video of my interview with the ageless, The Rock himself, Asi Taulava:

Captain Hook, Mac Cardona invites Filipinos to come to Al Ahli Stadium. He's 100% fit and ready to compete.

KG Canaleta stressed out that one of the main purpose of their participation in this tournament is to further build-up the team chemistry.  The jelling of the team, on and off the court would be a great factor to develop, especially with the new import and a bunch of rookies.

Rookie and former NCAA scoring machine, Juneric Baloria is proud to see himself playing in the PBA where the level of competition is definitely higher and more physical than the collegiate league.

Here's the schedule of NLEX in the elimination round (updated 17th Jan):

Friday 16th January 9:00PM 
NLEX Philippines vs Al Ittihad Libya 
Result: W (PHI 81 - 71 LIB) (report)

SUNDAY 18th January 7:00PM
NLEX Philippines vs Al Riyadi Lebanon 

Monday 19th January 9:00PM 
NLEX Philippines vs UAE 

Tuesday 20th January 9:00PM 
NLEX vs El Zamalek Egypt 

The Road Warriors is in Group A along with the UAE National Team, Al Riyadi (Lebanon), Zamalek (Egypt), and Ittihad (Libya).

Group B has Sagesse (Lebanon), Al Shabab (UAE), Sale and And1 (USA).

The top 4 teams in each group play in the crossover quarterfinals on Thursday, 22nd January. Semis will be played on Friday, and Finals on Saturday.

All games will be at Al Ahli Stadium. Tickets to the elimination games cost AED25 and available at the gates.

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