NLEX formally clinched an outright semifinal berth with a runaway 111-64 victory over hapless Derulo Accelero, the second-highest winning margin in league history, on Thursday in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at the JCSGO gym in Quezon City.
The Road Warriors notched their 10th victory in 11 outings to tie idle Big Chill for first place in the team standings and automatically advance to the semifinal phase.
So dominating was NLEX that they held an 87-51 entering the third quarter.
The 47-point winning margin is second to the lopsided win posted by Maynilad when it defeated Junior Powerade, 119-67, in 2011. The Maynilad squad was bannered by now NLEX players, including Jake Pascual and Garvo Lanete.
NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez was glad that there was no letdown on the part of the Road Warriors against an also-ran squad as they prepare for a game against Cagayan Valley next.
“We just have to be ready for Cagayan. We respect Cagayan so much that we need to play well in this game,” said Fernandez.
Lanete scored 13 points before leaving with a shoulder injury when he collided with Jett Manuel in the second quarter.
The Oilers now have a 1-11 win-loss record, joining Air21-Arellano at the foot of the table.
NLEX (111) – Lanete 13, Koga 12, Alas 11, Adeogun 10, J. Pascual 10, Long 9, R. Pascual 9, Dela Rosa 7, Amer 7, Ganuelas 7, K. Pascual 6, Raymundo 4, Hermida 4, Dela Cruz 2.
Derulo Accelero (64) – Soyud 11, Corpuz 11, Bautista 11, Jeffries 10, Morillo 10, Wierzba 4, Manuel 3, Juruena 3, Roncal 2, Eman 2, Gingerich 2, Olondriz 0, Wong 0, Importante 0.
Quarterscores: 27-22; 54-39; 87-51; 111-64.