NLEX Road Warriors
|NLEX Road Warriors|
|NLEX Road Warriors (2014–present)|
|Team colors||Blue, Orange, White
|Owner(s)||Manuel V. Pangilinan|
|Board governor||Ramoncito Fernandez
Rodrigo Franco (alternate)
Christopher Lizo (alternate)
|Team manager||Ronald Dularte
Allan Gregorio (assistant)
|Head coach||Yeng Guiao|
The NLEX Road Warriors are a professional basketball team owned by NLEX Corporation, a subsidiary of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation, currently playing in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) since the 2014–2015 season.
The Road Warriors began in the PBA Developmental League (PBA D-League) as one its founding teams, winning a total of six championships. The franchise transferred to the PBA after the Manila North Tollways Corporation (a subsidiary of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation) acquired the PBA franchise of the Air21 Express in June 2014. It is one of three PBA teams currently under the control of businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan (the other teams are the TNT KaTropa and the Meralco Bolts).
From 2011 to 2014, the Road Warriors were the dominant team in the PBA D-League, setting a record six championships in the seven conferences that it participated. It is the second PBA D-League franchise to join the PBA.
PBA expansion franchise application
In March 2014, Manila North Tollways Corporation (MNTC) submitted its letter of intent to join the PBA as an expansion team. On April 10, 2014, the PBA Board of Governors unanimously approved the application of NLEX, Ever Bilena Cosmetics, Inc. (Blackwater Elite) and Columbian Autocar Corporation (Kia Sorento) as expansion teams for the 2014-2015 season.
As a concession to Kia, which did not have a basketball team in the PBA D-League, the PBA board of governors did not allow Blackwater and NLEX to elevate their D-League players. Instead, the three expansion teams will build their teams through an expansion draft (with the ten existing teams protecting fourteen players in their respective rosters), the free agency and the rookie draft, in which the expansion teams will be given the 11th, 12th and 13th pick in the first round of the 2014 PBA draft.
Additional concessions were given to the three expansion teams at the conclusion of the special meeting by PBA board of governors, three weeks after approving their franchise application. These included the revision of the expansion draft in which the ten existing teams will protect twelve players (from the previous fourteen), and the first three picks of the second round of the 2014 PBA draft. Only the three expansion teams will be allowed to pick players after the third round of the rookie draft.
Acquisition of the Air21 Express PBA franchise
While Kia and Blackwater have paid their respective franchise fees, NLEX requested for an extension, as they were studying whether to enter the PBA as an expansion team or acquire an existing PBA franchise.
On June 17, 2014, MNTC announced that it was having negotiations with a PBA team to acquire their franchise. Due to the ongoing Governors' Cup playoffs, MNTC did not identify the team they were negotiating with, but stated it will reveal the team's identity once the team was eliminated. Days later, the team was revealed to be Air21 Express.
On June 23, 2014, an agreement was reached between MNTC and the Lina Group of Companies (owners of Air21 Express) regarding the sale of its PBA franchise to MNTC. The sale was approved during the regular monthly meeting of the board of governors, paving the way for the sale of the franchise to MNTC.
PBA 2015 Commissioner's Cup
On January 2, 2015, The NBA 2007 14th overall pick Al Thornton signed with the NLEX Road Warriors.
Yeng Guiao's transfer to NLEX
This is the start wherein the NLEX Road Warriors took a big step with multi-titled coach Yeng Guiao. Coach Yeng Guiao looking to improve the roster's lineups and will try to make it as a championship team.
NLEX Road Warriors roster
|NLEX Road Warriors head coaches|
- Records from the 2015–16 PBA season:
|Conf.||Team name||Elimination round||Playoffs|
|PHI||NLEX Road Warriors||7th/12||5||6||.455||Quarterfinals
|Talk 'N Text** 90, NLEX 88|
|COM||7th/12||5||6||.455||Quarterfinals||Meralco** 104, NLEX 97|
|GOV||7th/12||5||6||.455||Quarterfinals||San Miguel** 114, NLEX 110|
|Total elimination round||28||38||.424||0 semifinal appearances|
|Total playoffs||0||4||.000||0 Finals appearances|
|Total 2015-16||15||19||.441||0 championships|
|Total franchise||28||42||.400||0 championships|
**team had the twice-to-beat advantage
- NLEX files letter of intent to formalize bid to put up PBA expansion team, Snow Badua, spin.ph, March 6, 2014
- PBA approves entry of new teams NLEX, Kia, Blackwater for next season, Rey Joble, InterAksyon.com, April 10, 2014
- No direct amateur hires for expansion teams NLEX, Kia, Blackwater, Rey Joble, InterAksyon.com, April 10, 2014
- More concessions, but still no direct hires for PBA expansion teams Kia, NLEX, Blackwater, InterAksyon.com, April 24, 2014
- Joble, Rey (June 17, 2014). "No more expansion: NLEX buying existing team to join PBA". InterAksyon. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
- "NLEX confirms acquiring an existing PBA team, declines option to put up expansion club". Spin.ph. June 16, 2014. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
- NLEX reaches deal to acquire Air 21 franchise, awaits league approval, Rey Joble, InterAksyon.com, June 23, 2014
- Ballesteros, Jan (June 26, 2014). "PBA approves NLEX's acquisition of Air21 franchise". Sports Desk PH. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
- Bracher, Jane (June 26, 2014). "PBA: Air21 franchise officially sold to NLEX". Rappler. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
- Pamintuan, Carlo (June 26, 2014). "NLEX Road Warriors officially enter the PBA after buying the Air21 Express". Yahoo PH Sports. Retrieved November 7, 2014.