NLEX recovered from a flat start to overcome Ray Parks’ triple-double and beat National University-Banco De Oro, 84-71, on Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City, its second win in as many games in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup.
NCAA finals Most Valuable Player Art Dela Cruz scored all his eight points in the second quarter when the Road Warriors finally pulled away for good.
Dela Cruz led NLEX’s 11-0 start to the second canto after NU-BDO grabbed a 19-16 advantage at the end of the first period. NLEX outscored NU-BDO, 27-14, in the second period to post a 43-33 halftime lead.
Parks had 17 points, 12 rebounds, and 13 assists for NU-BDO, which is winless in five games.
The Road Warriors stayed unbeaten along with league-leading Big Chill (5-0) and Hogs Breath Café (3-0) and gained a timely confidence boost ahead of matches against four tough teams.
“Medyo relaxed ng konti today but I know that we are pacing for the next four games. It’s going to be a tough one,” said NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez as the team braces for matches against Boracay Rum, Hogs Breath Café, Big Chill and Blackwater Sports.
Jake Pascual and Garvo Lanete chipped in 11 and 10 points, respectively, for the Road Warriors.
Tristan Perez had 21 points for NU.
NLEX (84) – J. Pascual 11, Lanete 10, Ganuelas 9, Dela Cruz 8, Dela Rosa 8, Adeogun 7, Amer 6, Alas 6, Long 5, R. Pascual 5, K. Pascual 4, Villarias 3, Koga 2, Hermida 0.
NU-BDO (71) – Perez 21, Parks 17, Rono 9, Villamor 7, Khobuntin 6, Alolino 5, Neypes 4, Javelona 2, Rosario 0, Labing-isa 0.
Quarterscores: 16-19; 43-33; 66-51; 84-71.