NLEX couldn’t have picked a better place to snap its skid as it defeated TNT Katropa, 110-98, in Angeles City, Pampanga, practically coach Yeng Guiao’s home turf, on Saturday night.
The Road Warriors finally showed the poise and maturity the Kapampangan Guiao has long been looking for as they refused to get bullied by their sister team Texters with a late rally in the Petron Saturday Special at the Angeles University Foundation gym.
Carlo Lastimosa and Bradwyn Guinto delivered the biggest baskets at crunch time, while Sean Anthony put up another workmanlike effort to lead the Road Warriors, who put a halt to a five-game losing streak and won for only the second time in seven games.
The Road Warriors also snapped the Texters’ two-game winning streak as they dropped to a 4-3 win-loss record, leaving Rain or Shine in solo second spot.
Lastimosa finished with a game-high 22 points, including seven in the last five minutes where Guinto scored six of his 11 points on top of eight boards.
Anthony added 13 markers and 13 boards, while Kevin Alas and Eric Camson chipped in 12 points each for the Road Warriors, who saw the Texters erase a 13-point, 74-62, deficit in the third quarter, as they went ahead 94-93, after Jayson Castro completed a three-point play halfway through the fourth.
NLEX, however, went on a 17-4 run to finish the game.
Castro continued his fine play off the bench, tallying a team-high 17 points – although he took 17 attempts to reach his total, seven assists, five boards, and two steals in 32 minutes that went for naught.
NLEX 110 - Lastimosa 22, Anthony 13, Alas 12, Camson 12, Guinto 11, J. Villanueva 7, E. Villanueva 7, Rios 6, Baracael 5, Lanete 4, Taulava 3, Monfort 3, Khobuntin 3, Gotladera 2.
TNT 98 - Castro 17, Tautuaa 15, Rosales 15, Fonacier 9, Reyes 7, Rosario 7, De Ocampo 7, Williams 6, Rosser 6, Carey 5, Seigle 4, Golla 0, Pogoy 0, Tamsi 0.
Quarterscores: 24-26, 52-52, 85-81, 110-98