TOP San Beda players rejoined NLEX after a training stint in Lithuania, but it was still former Red Lion Garvo Lanete and former top Knight Kevin Alas who led the way for the Road Warriors in a 71-59 win over Jumbo Plastic Linoleum on Thursday that secured their place in the quarterfinals of the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena.
Lanete came up with 20 points, while Alas added 14 as NLEX won their seventh game, just two wins away from sweeping the elimination round.
Jake Pascual, also a former Red Lion, had 12 points and 13 rebounds for the Road Warriors, who could still improve on their standing and gain an outright berth in the semifinals by finishing in the top two after the eliminations.
“Our goal is to make it to the top two right away. I think we’re very much on target,” said NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez, back after skipping three games as San Beda trained in Lithuania.
The Road Warriors were up by just two early in the fourth, 49-47, but closed the game with a 22-12 run.
“Jumbo Plastic is a tough defensive team. They pushed us to the limit and held us below our normal scoring average. We’re just lucky to get away with the win,” Fernandez said.
The Giants dropped to 4-2.
San Beda's Ola Adeogun and Kyle Pascual each had two points, while Baser Amer did not score. Ryusei Koga and Art dela Cruz are the other players who trained in Lithuania.
NLEX 71 – Lanete 20, Alas 14, J. Pascual 12, Parks 9, Dela Rosa 8, Ganuelas 2, K. Pascual 2, Long 2, Adeogun 2, Dela Cruz 0, Amer 0, Raymundo 0.
Jumbo Plastic 59 – Viernes 15, Canada 12, Custodio 6, Ballesteros 6, Villamor 5, Tan 4, Colina 4, Parala 2, Chiu 1, Dehesa 0, Pettilos 0.
Quarterscores: 12-8; 33-24; 47-42; 71-59.