NO Ola Adeogun, no problem for NLEX.
The Road Warriors got off to a fine start and never looked back as they dispatched Cagayan Valley, 83-74, on Monday to remain on top of the team standings in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the JCSGO Gym in Quezon City.
Cagayan Valley failed to take advantage of the absence of Adeogun after Rising Suns assistant coach Ogie Gumatay earlier said they have a better chance of winning without NLEX’s Nigerian center.
Adeogun is with the Red Lions and coach Boyet Fernandez in Lithuania for San Beda’s preseason training in Lithuania.
The Lions skipped their second straight D-League match but that hardly mattered as the Road Warriors won their fifth game in as many outings.
NLEX assistant coach Mon Celis admitted the words of a member of Cagayan Valley’s coaching staff pumped up his wards.
“Medyo na-inspire din sila dun sa sinabi ng isang coaching staff nila na kaya kaming talunin dahil wala si Ola,” Celis said. “I’m happy that we have proven them wrong.”
The Road Warriors never relinquished their lead after a 29-18 start to the first quarter. Cagayan Valley showed some fight in the second period when it scored 10 straight points to trim the deficit at halftime, 42-35, but couldn't put up another rally after that.
“We played very well from the start, kaya lang pagdating ng second quarter, nag-relax. They got a dressing down at halftime kaya pukpok uli sila,” said Celis.
Garvo Lanete finished with 22 points as Kevin Alas chipped in 14 for NLEX. Bobby Ray Parks added 11 points and nine rebounds.
Lanete started NLEX’s pullaway in the third with a triple for a 45-35 lead. Parks also electrified the crowd in attendance with a dunk at the 2:33-mark for a 60-47 NLEX lead.
Parks and Jake Pascual opened the fourth with back-to-back baskets for NLEX’s biggest lead, 72-53, before another slam by Parks, 80-62, put away any chance of a Cagayan Valley comeback.
Cagayan Valley fell to 2-3 after winning two straight matches.
NLEX (83) – Lanete 22, Alas 14, Parks 11, J. Pascual 9, R. Pascual 9, Dela Rosa 5, Long 5, Raymundo 4, Del Rosario 2, Ganuelas 2, Villarias 0, Hermida 0.
Cagayan Valley (74) – Ighalo 21, Melano 18, Webb 10, Revilla 7, Galliguez 6, Gomez 4, Daquioag 3, Casajeros 3, Foronda 2, Olivares 0, Collado 0, Vidal 0, Bangga 0.
Quarterscores: 29-18; 42-35; 68-53; 83-74.