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    NLEX keeps playoff hopes alive, boots Meralco out of contention

    Nov 30, 2022
    Earl Clark NLEX vs Meralco PBA
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    NLEX erased an 18-point deficit to keep its playoff hopes alive on Wednesday, ousting sister team Meralco in the process, 92-81, in the PBA 47th season Commissioner’s Cup at the Philsports Arena.

    The Road Warriors turned it on in the second half to remain as the only team from the MVP bloc still in contention for a quarterfinal berth with a 5-7 win-loss record at the end of their elimination-round campaign.

    [READ: Clark says McDaniels the reason he's in the PBA]

    Meralco, in contrast, lost its second straight game and slipped to 4-7, tumbling out of contention regardless the result of their final match against San Miguel Beer.

    The Road Warriors now hope for a loss by Rain or Shine over Magnolia on Friday to force a playoff for the No. 8 spot while Meralco’s loss gave San Miguel, NorthPort, and Phoenix Super LPG a free ride to the quarterfinals.

    The Bolts are already out due to an inferior quotient with NLEX and Rain or Shine in the event of a three-way tie for eighth place. Under PBA rules, the two teams with superior quotients in a three-team logjam at eighth will meet in a do-or-die match.


    “Pumapalag pa,” said NLEX coach Frankie Lim after winning their second consecutive game.

    Import Earl Clark was huge for the Road Warriors, scoring 25 of his 40 points in the second half, including eight in that key run that turned the game around.

    Don Trollano added 16 points and nine rebounds, while Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser had 10 points for the Road Warriors, who trailed 57-39, at the half, the biggest of the game.



      Lim admitted he was furious at the dugout during the halftime break.

      “All I asked for my team is to be decent in defense, making stops that will trigger our offense. They enjoy running and going on offense. It’s like a reward for them if they make stops. And I think that’s what happened in the second half,” said Lim.

      KJ McDaniels tallied 22 points and nine rebounds against his former team while Aaron Black had 17 points, but the Bolts wavered in the second half in the absence of starters Raymond Almazan and Chris Newsome.

      Frankie LIm Don Trollano

      The scores:

      NLEX 92 – Clark 40, Trollano 16, Ganuelas-Rosser 10, Chua 6, Rosales 6, Alas 6, Varilla 5, Miranda 3, Nieto 0.

      Meralco 81 – McDaniels 22, Black 17, Maliksi 12, Hodge 8, Quinto 8, Banchero 7, Caram 5, Jose 2, Pascual 0.

      Quarters: 23-30; 39-57; 64-71; 92-81.

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      PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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