NLEX refused to be bullied by its sister team this time as it stunned Talk ‘N Text, 107-101, to continue in its road to respectability in the Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup on Friday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Road Warriors climbed out of a huge 17-point hole as they drew a career games from Sean Anthony and rookie Simon Enciso to register their first-ever win against the Tropang Texters since taking over the Air21 franchise last year.
The Road Warriors thus tied their victims with a 3-2 win-loss card.
“It was a test of character for us,” Road Warriors coach Boyet Fernandez said. “We stole one game from Talk ‘N Text.”
Anthony poured in a career-high 32 points on 11-of-17 shooting, on top of 12 boards, two assists, and one steal in 35 minutes off the benchwhile Enciso contributed 19 markers built around three three-pointers.
Asi Taulava delivered as usual with 18 points and 18 boards, while Jonas Villanueva completed the double-digit scorers for NLEX with 10 markers, all in the payoff period as the duo led the team’s comeback along with Anthony.
Taulava’s free throw that made 106-96 for the Road Warriors completed a 27-point turnaround after they trailed, 71-54, in the third quarter.
Troy Rosario flashed his outside game, burying four triples on the way to finishing with a team-high 20 points, although Jayson Castro was held to just 15 points after missing all his eight treys following a 33-point effort against Star last week.
NLEX 107 - Anthony 32, Enciso 19, Taulava 18, Villanueva J. 10, Khobuntin 7, Camson 4, Reyes 4, Alas 3, Borboran 3, Lanete 3, Apinan 2, Cardona 2.
Talk 'N Text 101 - Rosario 20, Fonacier 18, Seigle 17, Castro 15, Tautuaa 11, Carey 6, Rosser 6, Reyes R. 6, Williams 2, Aban 0, Miranda 0, Reyes J. 0.
Quarterscores: 21-26, 44-49, 70-77, 107-101