Unless he makes an impression, game against NLEX could be CJ Aiken's last
CJ AIKEN is on the final stage of his veritable tryout period for Columbian Dyip.
Adrian Forbes will be on his first when he and NLEX battle with the Aiken-led team formerly known as Kia Saturday in the PBA Commissioner's Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
The Road Warriors are looking to kick off their tournament campaign on a high note and would be relying mostly on Kiefer Ravena, JR Quinahan and Larry Fonacier to achieve that immediate goal.
For their part, the Columbian Dyip are looking to get back on track after dropping a 103-116 decision to Meralco last Wednesday and need to get consistent, steady performances from the likes of Rashawn McCarthy, Jerramy King and Eric Camson.
First, Columbian Dyip must shake off the onset of fatigue going to its third game in seven days.
"Foremost in our mind is to bounce back strong by doing every thing we can to get our second win," said Columbian Dyip coach Ricky Dandan.
But in such an import-laced conference, reinforcements should play key roles and that's where Aiken and Forbes come in.
After being asked to be more aggressive following a nine-point (on just eight shots) in a 126-98 surprise over Blackwater on opening day last Sunday, Aiken promptly scored 21 points but on 19 attempts against the Bolts.
The former St. Joseph's U standout has been averaging 20 rebounds, 3.0 steals, as many blocks and 2.5 assists, but Dandan has said Aiken would still be evaluated after the game.
If Aiken's overall performance is not satisfactory, added Dandan, then he, his staff and management would "go to Plan B."
Forbes is actually NLEX's second option and had to be brought in at the last minute after original choi ce Arnett Moultrie could not be freed up from his contract in Bahrain.
Listed at 6-10 and 245 lbs, Forbes himself has also played in Bahrain but most recently is coming off a stint in the Dominican Republic league where he was named Defensive Player of the Year.
In case the former Auburn product plays well enough, Road Warriors coach Yeng Guiao has let on, then there will be no need to bring in Moultrie. ( NC)