BINAN, Laguna - Macmac Cardona scattered 14 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter to lift NLEX to a pulsating 84-81 win over grand slam champion San Mig Super Coffee in the PBA Liga ng Bayan preseason match on Saturday at the Alonte Sports Arena.
Nicknamed 'Captain Hook,' the 6-2 Cardona saved his best for the final canto just when he put the brakes on a last-ditch rally by the Mixers.
Cardona shook off Rafi Reavis with a head fake in one sequence late in the game before banking a shot off the glass for the marginal basket in the dying seconds.
Mark Barroca tried to send the game into overtime, but his desperation three-point heave failed to hit the rim as time expired.
“Honestly, against this San Mig team, maganda, compared to our game against Alaska. May in-adjust kami, though game shape wala pa, pero yung game ni Macmac Cardona, I hope magtuloy-tuloy na ito for him,” said NLEX assistant coach Adonis Tierra, who called the shots in lieu of coach Boyet Fernandez.
Fernandez called the shots for San Beda in the NCAA.
The win kept the Mixers winless in six preseason games, which included the team’s four-game losing streak in Seoul, South Korea last week, as well as its 69-73 defeat to Jeonju KCC Egis last September 23.
San Mig missed the services of guard PJ Simon, who hyper-extended his knee in Seoul, while Marc Pingris is currently on leave after coming off a busy stint with Gilas Pilipinas the past two months.
Aldrech Ramos scored 15 points, while Mark Borboran and Enrico Villanueva added 12 piece for the Road Warriors.
San Mig drew 16 points from Ian Sangalang, while Barroca added 14.
NLEX 84 - Cardona 22, Ramos 15, E. Villanueva 12, Borboran 12, J. Villanueva 7, Camson 6, Taulava 6, Poligrates 2, Apinan 2, Raymundo 0, Hermida 0, Villarias 0, Arboleda 0, Soyud 0, Belencion 0
San Mig 81 - Sangalang 16, Barroca 14, Devance 10, Melton 10, Yap 9, Mallari 9, Taha 8, Maliksi 3, Reavis 2, Holstein 0, Bonifacio 0