NLEX recovered from a scoreless spell in the third quarter to post an 82-75 victory over Boracay Rum on Monday and keep its slate unblemished in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup.
Garvo Lanete tallied 23 points, including 5-of-9 from three-point range, to lead the way as the Road Warriors stretched their winning start to three games.
The Road Warriors also got back their resolve after failing to score in the first six minutes of the third quarter and allowing the Waves to make a comeback. NLEX had led 30-14 at the end of the first quarter.
“Hindi naman naisho-shoot ’yung shots namin nung first few minutes dahil nag-lie-low kami sa defense. But I’m just happy that in the last two minutes, we made stops and scored,” said NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez.
The Road Warriors will play another unbeaten team in Hogs Breath Café on Thursday.
The Waves continued to struggle, slipping to a 2-4 win-loss slate.
Jake Pascual had 11 points, while Art Dela Cruz and Byron Villarias added 10 each.
Boracay Rum scored 10 straight points at the beginning of the third after trailing 30-44 at halftime. The Waves continued to threated in the end game after a three-pointer by Jeff Viernes cut the deficit to three points with 1:11 left, 76-73.
NLEX clinched the victory after Ganuelas hit a lay-up and Rome De la Rosa scored a lay-up off a Boracay turnover for a seven-point lead.
Mark Belo had 18 points and 14 rebounds for the Waves.
NLEX (82) – Lanete 23, J. Pascual 11, Dela Cruz 10, Villarias 10, Hermida 8, Adeogun 6, Dela Rosa 6, Long 3, R. Pascual 3, Ganuelas 2, Koga 0, K. Pascual 0, Amer 0.
Boracay Rum (75) – Belo 18, Viernes 11, Eguilos 11, Sabellina 7, Banchero 6, Taha 6, Siruma 4, Bautista 2, Tagarda 2, Ilagan 2, Arellano 0.
Quarterscores: 30-14; 44-30; 59-50; 82-75.