NLEX gained a share of the early lead with its second win in as many games in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup, beating Boracay Rum 88-73 on Thursday at the Trinity Gym in Quezon City.
The Road Warriors joined Big Chill at the top of the standings with a 2-0 win-loss card, but coach Boyet Fernandez remains unsatisfied especially on defense after again giving up more than 70 points.
The Road Warriors began their bid for a fourth straight crown with a swashbuckling 101-71 win over Erase XFoliant, a big win that apparently wasn’t enough to please the coaching staff.
“Magagaling talaga eh, pero ’yung sistema sa depensa, doon kami dapat mag-concentrate,” said Fernandez. “We can’t win a championship if we are (just) going to play offense.”
NCAA MVP Ian Sangalang had 21 points, 10 rebounds, and two blocks, while Garvo Lanete added 11 points. Eleven players scored at least two points for the Road Warriors.
Like in the first game, the Road Warriors had a sizeable lead in the first quarter, getting ahead 26-15 and extending it to 44-31 by halftime before giving up at least 20 points in each of the final two quarters.
Glenn Khobuntin had 17 points and seven rebounds while Ken Acibar added 13 for the Waves, who are still without a win to show in three games.
NLEX (88) – Sangalang 21, Lanete 11, R. Pascual 9, Salva 8, Alas 8, Camson 7, Garcia 7, Hermida 6, Ganuelas 5, J. Pascual 4, Amer 2, Escoto 0, Long 0, Sumalinog 0.
Boracay Rum (73) – Khobuntin 17, Acibar 13, Bandaying 11, Santos 9, Taha 7, Viernes 5, Siruma 5, Eguilos 4, Ilagan 2, Tolentino 0, Sabellina 0, Foronda 0.
Quarterscores: 26-15; 44-31; 66-53; 88-73.