NLEX posted the largest offensive output and biggest winning margin in league history, trouncing shorthanded Zambales M-Builders, 125-61, on Thursday at The Arena in San Juan to take the top seed in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at The Arena in San Juan.
NLEX finished the regular season with an 11-2 win-loss slate to tie Big Chill but the Road Warriors take the top spot due to the winner-over-the-other rule.
The Road Warriors beat the Superchargers, 97-88, on December 2.
“We just came into the game to finish the eliminations with a win and have a positive attitude to the semifinals,” NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez said.
“The No. 1 position was given to us with a silver platter and I do have to thank Hog’s for that,” he added.
The 125 points by NLEX was the biggest recorded by any team in a game while surpassing the 52-point winning margin posted by Maynilad when it beat Junior Powerade, 119-67, in 2011.
NLEX also scored a 111-64 win over Derulo Accelero on January 23.
The rout began after NLEX had a 29-5 second quarter for a 54-22 halftime lead.
The Road Warriors will face either Hog’s Breath or Cagayan Valley in the semifinals.
Interestingly, the Razorbacks and the Rising Suns were the two teams that won against NLEX in the eliminations.
Borgie Hermida topscored for NLEX with 18 points, while Matt Ganuelas and Jake Pascual added 17 points each.
Only eight players showed up in the game for the Zambales M-Builders, who wrapped up its tumultuous campaign with 2-11 win-loss record and losing 10 straight games. Some of the players and staff reportedly left the team due to unpaid salaries, according to reports reaching the league.
NLEX (125)—Hermida 18, Ganuelas 17, J. Pascual 17, R. Pascual 15, Alas 14, Adeogun 11, Dela Rosa 9, Dela Cruz 8, Raymundo 6, Koga 4, K. Pascual 4, Amer 2.
Zambales M-Builders (61) – Cruz 16, Alabanza 9, Saret 9, A. Semerad 8, Ignacio 8, Maniago 6, Doligon 3, Vidal 2.
Quarterscores: 25-17; 54-22; 85-37; 125-61.