BYRON Villarias sparked NLEX once again, scoring all 12 of his points on triples in the second half to lift the Road Warriors to an 81-73 victory over Blackwater Sports on Monday in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Blue Eagle Gym.
The streak-shooting Villarias hit two triples in an 11-0 run that turned a one-point deficit into a 60-50 lead late in the third period.
NLEX then held on, averting several late rallies by Blackwater Sports to improve its win-loss record to 6-2 and extend its winning streak to six.
“I thought we executed our game plan perfectly. The key was our defense,” said NLEX assistant coach Adonis Tierra, who took over the coaching duties with head coach Boyet Fernandez in the United States for a training camp with San Beda.
The Elite remained on top of the team standings with a 7-2 card but are now just half-a-game ahead of NLEX.
“We achieved our target of holding Blackwater to below 80 points,” Tierra said.
Villarias converted 4-of-9 from beyond the arc to spark NLEX, which led by three points, 35-32, at the half.
It was VIllarias’ second straight impressive outing after he scored 16 points, making four triples, in NLEX’s 75-66 win over Fruitas last week.
Garvo Lanete topscored for NLEX with 17 points, Nico Salva added 16 points, and Kevin Alas added 13 markers. Jake Pascual grabbed 10 rebounds for the Road Warriors.
Allan Mangahas had 17 points, eight rebounds, and six assists for Blackwater Sports, while Justin Chua had 15 points and nine boards.
NLEX (81) – Lanete 17, Salva 16, Alas 13, Villarias 12, Camson 10, Ganuelas 4, J. Pascual 4, Hermida 2, Garcia 2, Long 1, R. Pascual 0.
Blackwater Sports (73) – A. Mangahas 17, Chua 15, Llagas 9, Ferrer 8, Ciriacruz 8, Celiz 8, Vigil 2, J. Mangahas 2, Suguitan 2, Pe 1, Austria 1, Bagatsing 0.
Quarterscores: 19-20; 35-32; 62-58; 81-73.