KEVIN Alas had 19 points and 10 assists, helping NLEX avoid a collapse and post a 103-94 victory over Boracay Rum on Tuesday in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Trinity University of Asia Gym.
Alas keyed a fourth quarter assault as the Road Warriors survived the Waves after losing a 17-point lead in the third period. The Warriors scored their second victory in as many games and took the early lead in the conference.
NLEX won even after taking a 38-21 lead in the second only to be outscored by Boracay Rum, 33-23, in the next quarter. Boracay Rum even took an 82-80 lead midway in the fourth, which proved to be its final stand.
“It’s complacency, no question about it,” said NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez. “We were up by 17, probably they thought they’ve already won the game.”
“I still give credit to the boys. They came back from that rally by Boracay,” Fernandez said.
Alas gave the lead back to NLEX with a three-point play and two free throws before dishing out an assist to Garvo Lanete for a triple that made it 90-84. Matt Ganuelas also hit a three for a nine-point lead with 2:35 left in the game.
Ronald Pascual also had 11 of his 14 points in the third in answering baskets by Roider Cabrera that helped Boracay Rum close in on the five-time champions.
After trailing 38-54 at the half, Boracay Rum rallied as Cabrera scored 15 of his 16 points in the third to help the Waves enter the final period just six points behind, 71-77.
But Boracay Rum fell short this time, failing to repeat its comeback from 19 points down against Cagayan Valley on Monday.
Mark Belo tallied a game-high 26 points for the Waves, who fell to 1-1.
NLEX (103) – Alas 19, Lanete 17, R. Pascual 14, Ganuelas 14, Dela Cruz 13, Adeogun 11, K. Pascual 6, Long 5, J. Pascual 2, Dela Rosa 2, Amer 0, Raymundo 0.
Boracay Rum (94) – Belo 26, Cabrera 16, Lingganay 12, Taha 9, Caperal 8, Banchero 7, Eguilos 5, Sabellina 4, Rono 3, Tagarda 2, Ignacio 2, Siruma 0, Bautista 0.
Quarterscores: 26-15; 54-38; 77-71; 103-94.