MANNY Harris led a key NLEX barrage in the third quarter as the Road Warriors dealt TNT a 126-113 defeat, the KaTropa's first in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Harris scored 20 of his 40 points in the third period to help NLEX seize control on the way to a third straight victory that solidified its hold of second place on a 6-1 win-loss record.
TNT fell to 7-1 but stayed in first place, half game ahead of NLEX.
“Great effort by the guys,” said NLEX coach Yeng Guiao. “Talk ‘N Text is such a strong team. There’s a reason they are undefeated at this point. We made sure we were ready for them. We prepared for this game.”
The Road Warriors outscored the KaTropa, 39-27, in a high-scoring third quarter behind Harris, who scored nine points in a 20-4 run that gave NLEX a 90-78 lead.
It was by no means a one-man show as a hook shot by Poy Erram capped a 10-2 start to the fourth quarter that enabled NLEX to build a 100-82 lead, the biggest by either side in the game.
“We thought it would be a defensive game. The first half was really low (scoring). It still became an offensive game. It still became a shootout and we were just glad that we were up to it in terms of scoring on both ends,” said Guiao.
Kiefer Ravena added 16 points and 13 assists while Jericho Cruz scored 15 points. Erram contributed 14 points in a well-spread scoring for NLEX.
The loss put to waste KJ McDaniels’ 42-point, 13-rebound effort for TNT. RR Pogoy also had 35 points for a TNT side that lost Jayson Castro to an ankle injury.
The fast-starting KaTropa raced off to 21-11 lead but the gap evaporated to just two, 53-51 at the half.
NLEX 126 – Harris 40, Ravena 16, Cruz 15, Erram 14, Quinahan 10, Paniamogan 8, Soyud 8, Miranda 6, Galanza 5, Fonacier 3, Ighalo 1.
TNT 113 – McDaniels 42, Pogoy 35, Rosario 11, Trollano 10, DiGregorio 6, Reyes 4, Taha 3, Vosotros 2, Carey 0, De Leon 0, Magat 0, Washington 0.
Quarters: 24-26; 51-53; 90-80; 126-113.