NLEX swept all its games without head coach Boyet Fernandez and the core of the San Beda Red Lions as it survived hard-fighting Derulo Accelero, 98-82, on Monday in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the JCSGO Gym in Quezon City.
An 8-0 run in the fourth quarter put the game away as the Road Warriors clinched their sixth straight game and remained undefeated despite missing Fernandez and the Red Lions for three games.
The Road Warriors won despite leading by only four points at the end of the third quarter, and just one in the early moments of the final period.
“I’m a bit disappointed with our effort,” said NLEX assistant coach Mon Celis. “The guys were very complacent. But the bottom line is we got the W.”
Fernandez, Ola Adeogun, Baser Amer, Kyle Pascual, Art Dela Cruz, and Ryusei Koga, who had a preseason training in Lithuania in preparation for the NCAA wars, will be back in time for the Road Warriors’ game against Jumbo Plastic Linoleum on Thursday.
“I’m happy to be handing back the reign to coach Boyet with the team still on a winning streak,” Celis said.
King Importante hit a twinner that put the winless Oilers to within one, 72-71.
But Rome Dela Rosa hit a free throw and Bobby Ray Parks converted a triple to start NLEX’s pivotal run.
Five players scored in double figures for NLEX with Garvo Lanete and Matt Ganuelas tallying 17 points each. Bobby Ray Parks had 16 points, Jake Pascual added 15, and Kevin Alas 12.
Derulo fought hard in a match that had six deadlocks and eight lead changes but apparently unhappy with how the game was officiated, the Oilers intentionally fouled NLEX players and committed three five-second violations on inbound plays in the final moments of the game.
“Nabigla ako sa pinag-gagawa nila,” said Celis, when asked about the incident. “Hindi ko alam kung ano gusto nila palabasin. At least lumaki pa lamang namin.”
Derulo Accelero coach Paolo Mendoza could not be reached for comment at posting time.
NLEX (98) – Lanete 17, Ganuelas 17, Parks 16, J. Pascual 15, Alas 12, Villarias 6, Raymundo 3, Del Rosario 3, Dela Rosa 3, Bonsubre 2, Pangilinan 2.
Derulo Accelero (82) – Manuel 15, Bautista 13, Juico 11, Soyud 9, Importante 8, Jalalon 8, Roncal 7, Corpuz 6, Acosta 3, Olandriz 2, Pao 0.
Quarterscores: 22-10; 45-37; 70-66; 98-82.