NLEX spoiled the rousing return of Globalport’s dynamic duo as it fended off the Batang Pier, 110-105, to move closer to a playoff berth in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Friday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Road Warriors saw Terrence Romeo catch fire with eight three-pointers as he came back from injury along with Stanley Pringle, but NLEX proved steadier down the stretch to pull off the victory that moved them above .500 with a 5-4 win-loss card, joining four teams.
Al Thornton delivered once again with 33 points, 19 boards, six assists, and two blocks, while Sean Anthony and Kevin Alas provided significant support for the Road Warriors as they eliminated the Batang Pier from playoff contention.
“We’re happy to beat a GlobalPort team that was complete,” Road Warriors coach Boyet Fernandez said. “Even though Terrence and Pringle played and played well, at least our defense tried to limit them.”
NLEX made the stops at crunch time and translated it to baskets as the Road Warriors broke a 95-all deadlock by scoring seven unanswered points, capped by a Thornton basket that gave them enough cushion to weather a late Batang Pier storm.
After hurting his calf four games back, Romeo picked up from where he left off, pumping in 27 points, five boards, and five assists in just 29 minutes as he led GlobalPort’s late rally.
Pringle was more of a facilitator as he dished out seven assists and scored 11 points in 32 minutes.
While they gained a boost from Romeo and Pringle, the Batang Pier missed coach Pido Jarencio, who was mourning the death of his father, as they absorbed a sixth straight setback to fall to 2-7, leaving them stuck at the bottom of the standings.
NLEX 110 – Thornton 33, Anthony 21, Alas 18, Taulava 13, Lanete 11, Villanueva J. 11, Enciso 3, Borboran 0, Cradona 0, Khobuntin 0, Villanueva E. 0, Reyes 0
GLOBALPORT 105 – Romeo 27, Taggart 22, Pringle 11, Taha 9, Washington 9, Kramer 8, Fortuna 7, Maierhofer 5, Jensen 4, Mamaril 3, Uyloan 0, Yeo 0
Quarterscores: 35-19, 58-49, 78-74, 110-105