by Ernest Hernandez
Aware that they were up against a grand slam contending team, the NLEX Road Masters knew they were in a tough spot to overcome the San Miguel Beermen.
With the game tied in the final two minutes of play, Larry Fonacier broke the ice with a cold-blooded three-pointer. It was, however, another dagger trey by the “Babyface Assassin” that helped NLEX close out the Beermen.
“My team just set up an opportunity to a wide open shot,” Fonacier said. “You just have to take it when you are facing the best teams. When there is an opportunity just take it. Got fortunate – pumasok.”
Fonacier was acquired by NLEX in trade with TnT KaTropa. The deal reunited him with former coach Yeng Guiao, someone he played for under Red Bull before. Being one of the PBA veteran players, Guiao expects Fonacier to hold a bigger role.
“Larry also is vintage 8 years or 10 years ago. He is really playing well for us. He is not only giving us the outside shooting and scoring but also leadership and a lot of maturity,” said Guiao.
“He has trained me to be ready for those moments,” Fonacier credits growing up under Guiao’s wings. “Kapag matagal ka na ditto sa liga, you welcome those moments and learn not to be afraid.”
“Siya naman talaga nag-umpisa noon. Just give credit to him,” Fonacier added. “Talagang tinulungan niya ako mabuo loob ko ditto sa league. I thank him for his tough love while we were at Red Bull.”
From zero to hero, NLEX could be contending for a semi-final slot. That win against the Beermen validates all the hard work that the Road Warriors have sacrificed for.
“It means that we are on the right track that we are able to compete at a high level this conference,” said Fonacier. “We are almost in our goal of making the semis. Before the conference yun naman ang goal and we are an inch closer to that. We don’t want to relax. We don’t want another letdown like our previous game.”
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