MACAU – NLEX settled for fourth place in the Asia League Super 8 2018 after losing to the ETLand Elephants, 67-62, in the bronze medal game on Sunday at Macao East Asian Games Dome here.
The Road Warriors got within three points in the endgame but ran out of time as turnovers and bad decisions cost them late.
Michael Miranda’s three cut the deficit down to five, 61-56, with 2:34 remaining, but his unneccessary foul after Mac Tallo’s hit on Jung Young Sam dashed NLEX’s hopes. Jung made four straight freebies to establish a nine-point edge, 65-56 with 1:42 to play.
Though Kenneth Ighalo scored with 4.2 seconds left to trim the lead to three, 65-62, Miranda’s unsportsmanlike foul once again cost NLEX as Kim Nak Hyeon drained the marginal freebies.
Miranda finished with 12 points and nine rebounds before getting ejected for incurring two unsportsmanlike fouls late in the game while Juami Tiongson finished with 12 points and four assists.
Asi Taulava had a double-double of 11 points and 13 rebounds in a vintage performance while JR Quinahan got 10 points and five boards against the team that dealt NLEX a 75-60 defeat in the group stages last Wednesday.
The two conspired in a spirited 13-0 run to cut a 45-29 deficit to just three, 45-42 with 3:03 left in the third quarter.
Jeong Hyo Geun led ETLand with 13 points and six rebounds. Hong Gyeong Ki had 12 points and four boards while Jung and Kim Sang Kyu both got 11.
ETLAND 67 – Jeong HG 13, Hong 12, Kim SK 11, Jung 11, Kim NH 6, Jeong BK 5, Park BJ 5, Park SJ 4, Choi 0, Kim JN 0, Lim 0.
NLEX 62 – Miranda 12, Tiongson 12, Taulava 11, Quinahan 10, Ighalo 7, Tallo 5, Baguio 2, Gotladera 2, Marcelo 1, Buenafe 0, Monfort 0, Uyloan 0.
Quarters: 15-12, 34-27, 53-46, 67-62.