RONALD Pascual and Jake Pascual combined for 13 points in the fourth period as NLEX captured its sixth PBA D-League championship with an 81-78 victory over Blackwater Sports on Monday for a sweep of the Foundation Cup Finals at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Pascuals scored eight unanswered points in the final quarter to seize control of Game Two for the Road Warriors, who completed a 13-game sweep of the conference for a fitting send-off before they enter the PBA for the pro league's 40th season.
The Road Warriors wrapped up the best-of-three title series, 2-0.
Jake Pascual topscored for NLEX with 15 points, Ola Adeogun added 14 to go with 14 rebounds, and Ronald Pascual added 13 on 2-of-3 shooting from three-point range for NLEX, which avenged its defeat over Blackwater Sports in last year’s title series of this same conference.
NLEX swept the entire tournament for the second time after pulling off the same feat in the 2012 Foundation Cup. The Road Warriors fell a year later as they were swept by the Elite in the Finals to break a string of four straight championships.
The Road Warriors then bounced back by bagging the title earlier this year during the season-opening Aspirants Cup when they beat Big Chill.
But the multi-titled franchise certainly cherishes this title even more.
“This is much sweeter. When I said last conference that it was redemption, this is the real redemption due to the fact that we swept Blackwater,” said NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez.
NLEX turned a 65-67 deficit into a 73-67 lead with Jake Pascual scoring a three-point play and Ronald Pascual nailing a deep three from the right wing with 6:38 left in the game.
Reil Cervantes scored a jumper with 1:58 to go to cut the deficit to two, but Jake Pascual converted a scoop shot to hike the lead back to four points.
Cervantes had a game-high 31 points on 10-of-25 shooting from the field but missed a potential go-ahead three-pointer in the waning seconds of Game Two.
Kevin Alas, adjudged as the conference MVP earlier, sealed the win and the title by splitting his two free throws with 0.8 seconds left.
The Elite lost after the Road Warriors held the largest lead of the ballgame, 40-28, powered by an 11-0 run, but recovered to take a 53-47 edge in the third period that set up the tight contest.
NLEX (81) - J. Pascual 15, Adeogun 14, Raymundo 13, R. Pascual 13, Lanete 12, Dela Rosa 5, Alas 3, Dela Cruz 2, K. Pascual 2, Ganuelas 2, Long 0.
Blackwater Sports (78) - Cervantes 31, Ferrer 20, J. Cruz 9, M. Cruz 5, Mangahas 3, Llagas 3, Pinto 3, Bulawan 2, Austria 2, Ciriacruz 0, Pe 0, Trollano 0, Soyud 0.
Quarterscores: 27-20; 42-38; 62-62; 81-78.