NLEX leaned on a second-half surge to roll past GlobalPort, 114-98, and solidify its postseason bid in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Friday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Road Warriors came out firing after intermission as they turned an eight-point halftime deficit into a nine-point lead heading into the final frame where they turned it up a notch to pull away and score the victory that moved them to .500 with a 5-5 win-loss card.
Bill Walker was on target even from way beyond the arc as he finished with 35 points and 13 boards while Garvo Lanete again provided a huge spark with 25 points in 18 minutes off the bench for the Road Warriors.
The Batang Pier, despite drawing fine offensive performances anew from Terrence Romeo, Stanley Pringle, and Mike Glover, absorbed a third straight loss and seventh overall against three wins to move on the brink of elimination.
“It’s our defense that stepped up in the second half,” NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez said. “We did a good job in stopping their Big Three in the second half.”
Pringle, Romeo, and Glover all scored over 20 points, but most of their damage they did was done in the first half where the Batang Pier established an eight-point lead.
It was the Road Warriors’ turn to heat up in the second half where they outscored the Batang Pier, 63-39, to build their biggest lead at 20 points.
While he sparked the run with his outside shooting as he buried five three-points, Lanete punctuated the surge from inside with two straight layups, the second one coming with a drawn foul that gave the Road Warriors a 104-85 lead that took the fight out of the Batang Pier.
NLEX 114 - Walker 35, Lanete 25, Villanueva J. 14, Alas 11, Taulava 11, Baracael 5, Anthony 4, Khobuntin 4, Villanueva E. 3, Akl 2, Monfort 0, Reyes 0.
GlobalPort 98 - Pringle 27, Romeo 26, Glover 21, Salvacion 7, Semerad 6, Mamaril 5, Washington 4, Yeo 2, Taha 0.
Quarterscores: 25-31, 51-59, 88-79, 114-98