NLEX returned to its winning ways on Wednesday night, ripping Alaska, 91-70, to give its bid to reach the PBA Philippine Cup playoffs a timely shot in the arm.
The Road Warriors surprisingly pulled away after the ejection of coach Yeng Guiao to snap a two-game losing streak and move up to joint ninth place with a 3-5 card.
Guiao was sent off with still 5:19 left in the second quarter after being slapped with two consecutive technical fouls for continious complaining to the referees.
JR Quinahan had 14 points, seven rebounds, and three steals, while converting four of his six three-point shots to show the way for the Road Warriors.
Alaska dropped its second successive game - and fourth in seven games overall - after an anemic shooting display that saw the Aces shot only 28 percent from the field.
“For some reason, we always play Alaska very well… We have a good record against them. We were confident that we will have a good game against them,” said NLEX assistant coach Jojo Lastimosa, who took over in the absence of Guiao.
Bong Galanza contributed 14 points, while Jansen Rios had 10 points for the Road Warriors, who pulled away shortly after Guiao's election, thanks to successive three-pointers by Quinahan.
Jeron Teng's 23 points went for naught as Alaska was unable to recover from its loss to Magnolia last Saturday in Antipolo City.
NLEX 91 – Quinahan 14, Galanza 14, Rios 10, Erram 9, Ighalo 9, Tiongson 8, Soyud 8, Tallo 8, Baguio 3, Paniamogan 3, Porter 3, Magat 2, Varilla 0, Lao 0, Taulava 0.
Alaska 70 – Teng 23, Potts 13, Enciso 8, Thoss 6, Pascual 5, Baclao 4, Banchero 3, Cruz 3, Exciminiano 2, Galliguez 2, Ayaay 1, Andrada 0.
Quarters: 24-18; 50-36; 74-57; 91-70.