Un­less he makes an im­pres­sion, game against NLEX could be CJ Aiken's last

Sun.Star Pampanga - - NATION! -

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)

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