Down by as much as 17 points, the NLEX Road Warriors, behind Sean Anthony and Simon Enciso, snapped their two-game funk with a 107-101 victory over the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters on Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The anticipated battle between the ageless one and the young gun ensued in the opening period as the teams located Asi Taulava and Mo Tautuaa underneath. However, as good defense swarmed over the bigs of the squads, the Texters built their first double-digit separation by the 2:19 mark courtesy of Danny Seigle to make it a 25-15 game. Despite missing six attempts early from downtown, the Road Warriors sliced the lead to half after twelve minutes of action.
Within five minutes into the second period, NLEX extended its run to tie the match at 32-all. Eventually, they would capture their biggest lead of the match at five coming from free throws by Glen Khobuntin and Sean Anthony. Unfortunately for the Road Warriors, a 13-3 closeout by TNT to the first half once again swung the lead in favor of the Texters.
The Texters threatened to make the game ugly with Jayson Castro, Harvey Carey and Larry Fonacier combining for the third quarter blows to pull away once again. TNT’s defense also limited NLEX to an inefficient seven points in the first six minutes of the latter half. Taking advantage of the momentum, three more free throws pushed the lead to its highest in the game at 71-54.
Suddenly, Simon Enciso caught fire in the latter stretch of the third as he scored 13 markers including three bombs from downtown to help NLEX claw its way back. A 16-6 run made by the Road Warriors to end the third frame served as the stepping stone as the team successfully took the lead back by the 7:13 mark of the last frame courtesy of a Jonas Villanueva lay up.
Afterwards, Troy Rosario hit two timely three pointers to keep the Texters at striking distance while also tying the game for a couple of times. NLEX responded behind Jonas Villanueva’s fourth quarter took over as the former FEU guard scored eight points in the latter part of the pivotal period. Free throws late gave NLEX as 10-point lead that sealed the deal to end their two -game losing skid.
Sean Anthony once again filled the stat-sheet in the win with 32 points, 12 rebounds, two assists, and 10 of 13 shooting from the charity stripe. Enciso added 19 points as the duo off the bench lifted NLEX for the win. For the losing Texters, it was overall second draft pick Troy Rosario who led the charge with 20 points and seven rebounds.
NLEX outrebounded TNT 50-42 and scored 16 more points from the free throw area. Despite committing more turnovers at 17-13, the Road Warriors dominated the points in the paint 52-40 and outscored the Texters on the second chance, 16-9.
The Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texte3rs will look to build a new win streak as they face the Blackwater Elite on Wednesday, November 25, 4:15pm at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. On the other hand, the NLEX Road Warriors will have Alaska Aces as their next opponents on Friday, November 27.
NLEX (107) – Anthony 32, Enciso 19, Taulava 18, Villanueva J.10, Khobuntin 7, Camson 4, Reyes 4, Lanete 3, Alas 3, Borboran 3, Cardona 2, Apinan 2, Raymundo 0.
Talk ‘N Text (101) – Rosario 20, Fonacier 18, Seigle 17, Castro 15, Tautuaa 11, Ganuelas-Rosser 6, Carey 6, Reyes 6, Williams 2, Miranda 0, Reyes 0, Ababou 0, Aban 0.
Quarterscores: 21-26, 44-49, 70-77, 107-101.
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