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    Mallari, Lastimosa, Alas find a way to co-exist - and revive careers in process - at NLEX

    Jul 30, 2017
    Carlo Lastimosa celebrates with NLEX teammates Alex Mallari and Kevin Alas. Jerome Ascano

    BEFORE NLEX's scorching run to start the PBA Governors Cup, one major question for the team was on whether Kevin Alas, Alex Mallari and Carlo Lastimosa can blend together as a unit.

    After winning four games out of four, the Road Warriors trio have provided the answer.

    The cohesiveness among the three was none more evident than in the Road Warriors' 95-91 victory over the Phoenix Fuel Masters on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

    Although each player is known as a perimeter scorer, Lastimosa, Mallari and Alas have learned to co-exist as the Road Warriors posted the best start to a conference in franchise history.

    Alas, the talk of the town for the last three games, scored 13 points but took a backseat in the fourth quarter and allowed Mallari and Lastimosa to have their moment.

    The two didn't disappoint as they combined for 19 points in the final period to lead the furious Road Warriors fightback.

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    Mallari and Lastimosa both finished the game with 14 points apiece.

    "So far, 4-0, okay naman. Balanced naman yung scoring," said Lastimosa when asked about his chemistry with the two.

    "Minsan si Alex, minsan si Kevin. Wala naman sa amin kung sino ang kukuha ng points. Ang sa amin lang, gusto naming manalo," he added.

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    [See NLEX makes it four wins in a row as Phoenix runs out of gas]

    Mallari, who nailed the dagger three with nine seconds left, called themselves a 'three-headed monster' that could continuously give opposing teams problems - like they did to the Fuel Masters on Sunday.

    "Me, Kevin, and Carlo – three-headed monster – we can use the pick and roll so I think they were in trouble with that a little bit so we just tried to take advantage of the pick and roll," said Mallari.

    Used to being the man at Mahindra, Mallari had no problems deferring to Lastimosa late in the fourth quarter.

    "Actually, when Carlo entered the game I was like, 'You know what, this is his turn to show ‘em that he’s – I don’t know how to say it – he’s still got it.' He’s always had it, but since Blackwater he hasn’t been the man," Mallari continued.

    "So I was like you know what, he’s about to take over, so I was just trying to feed him."

    Despite the roaring start, the two were in one in saying that the Road Warriors still have a long way to go before regaining respectability after two disappointing finishes this season.

    It's all about consistency, the two added.

    "I’ve seen many teams – and I’m sure he’s seen more teams than me – start strong and then probably fade a bit in the end," Mallari said.

    "Four and zero sounds good, feels good, the best start in NLEX franchise, I think. But we’re not gonna rest on our laurels. We’ll feed off it."

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    Carlo Lastimosa celebrates with NLEX teammates Alex Mallari and Kevin Alas. Jerome Ascano
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