NLEX turned to its backup big men as it turned back Alaska, 106-100, at the start of a PBA pocket tournament on Monday at the Upper Deck gym in Pasig.
Rabeh Al-Hussaini flashed his old form, tallying 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting, on top of three boards, two blocks, and one assist in 26 minutes as he conspired with Raul Soyud, who likewise made an impact with 18 points, seven boards, and two steals off the bench.
Asi Taulava also made his presence felt, being the only starter to score in double digits with 12 points after making all his five shots inside the arc and half of his four charities – even taking one three-point attempt that just missed, along with five boards, one block, and one steal, in 19 minutes.
Seldom-used slotman Fonzo Gotladera also made an impression with 10 points, five rebounds, four assists, and one block that factored in him seeing the most action for his team at 28 minutes and 16 seconds.
Prized rookie Kiefer Ravena ran the offense and finished with nine points, five assists, and two boards in 17 minutes.
The results spoiled an all-around performance from Calvin Abueva, who led the Aces with 25 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists, and two steals in 25 minutes.