GARVO Lanete led NLEX in the fourth quarter to escape Wangs Basketball, 96-80, on Tuesday in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup at the JCSGO gym in Quezon City.
The Road Warriors avoided an upset with Lanete scoring 13 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter that saw them outscore the Couriers, 29-14, in the final canto.
NLEX climbed to 5-1 win-loss going into its all-important Thursday match-up against Jumbo Plastic Linoleum, which is in the upper half of the standings with an 8-2 win-loss slate.
In its first game since December 2, NLEX overcame a 10-point deficit in the first half and only led by a point entering the fourth period.
“Scary win,” said NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez. “Credit to Wangs. They really prepared against us. But again, credit to the boys. They don’t want to lose.”
Wangs held a 40-30 lead midway in the second quarter but NLEX was able to recover and tie the game at halftime, 48-48.
“I scolded them in the first half. It’s not a good indication of a good defensive team,” said Fernandez.
Ronald Pascual scored NLEX’s first five points in the fourth before Lanete took over with a three-point play conversion, giving the Road Warriors a 79-69 advantage.
It was also NLEX’s first game after the core of its team saw action for Sinag Pilipinas in the Southeast Asian Games.
Ola Adeogun didn’t play for NLEX as he served his one-game suspension due to an incident with Dexter Maiquez of Big Chill in its previous game.
Matt Ganuelas had 15 points, while Jake Pascual had 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Road Warriors.
Michael Juico dropped 27 points as Wangs’ record now stands at 4-7 win-loss.
NLEX (96) – Lanete 24, Ganuelas 15, J. Pascual 14, R. Pascual 11, Hermida 9, Dela Cruz 7, Long 5, Alas 4, Amer 3, Raymundo 2, K. Pascual 2, Dela Rosa 0.
Wangs Basketball (80) – Juico 27, Galliguez 13, Vijandre 13, Lopez 9, Acosta 5, Ilad 4, Franco 3, Gomez 3, Banal 2, Ferrer 1, Saitanan 0.
Quarterscores: 28-25; 48-48; 67-66; 96-80.