Coming off a 20 point-beating at the hands of Korean powerhouse Jeonju KCC Egis, the NLEX-SCTEX Road Warriors had a strong start against defending Merlion Cup champions Shanghai Sharks in hopes of a bounce back victory. However, the Philippine-side could not sustain, being overwhelmed in the final frame in a 79-65 loss, Thursday evening at the OCBC Arena in Singapore.
NLEX-SCTEX fell to a 0-2 record in Group A and have been virtually eliminated to advance to the next round.
Jason Perkins had another solid outing with 17 points and 15 rebounds but it was Oping Sumalinog who stood out for the Road Warriors, finishing with a game-high 21 markers in 26 minutes of action.
Sumalinog was the catalyst in NLEX-SCTEX’s strong start that saw the Road Warriors lead by as much as 14 points, 29-15, early in the second frame.
The Sharks quintet of Luo Hanchen, Luo Zhi, Dong Hanlin, Lu Wei, and Cai Lang though displayed poise and great familiarity, leading Shanghai’s 15-5 rally to close out the first half strong.
The Jojo Lastimosa-mentored squad was able to keep pace with Shanghai all throughout the third frame and into the early moments of the final quarter. However, turnovers doomed the Road Warriors in the end game.
With the game knotted at 63-all, Shanghai took advantage of multiple errors by NLEX-SCTEX, zooming past them with a game-breaking 16-0 run that gave the Sharks a 79-63 lead in the waning moments of the game.
Overall, the Road Warriors’ 15 turnovers led to 22 Sharks points.
JP Belencion added eight markers for NLEX-SCTEX while import Maurice Shaw hauled down 15 rebounds to go along with six points.
However, Pamboy Raymundo continued to struggle, going just 2-for-16 from the field.
Luo Hanchen led Shanghai with 20 points and nine rebounds while Dong Hanlin went 7-for-10 from the field for 17 points.
The Road Warriors look to finally rack one up on Friday, September 22 against Indonesian club team Satria Muda Pertamina. The game will have a 6:30 tip-off time.
NLEX-SCTEX (65) – Sumalinog 21, Perkins 17, Belencion 8, Shaw 6, Batino 5, Raymundo 4, Vitug 2, Villarias 2, Cahilig 0, Arboleda 0.
Shanghai (79) – Luo HC 20, Dong 17, Luo Z 14, Cai 13, Lu 13, Zhai 2, Zhang 0, Shi 0, Tseng 0.
Quarterscores: 23-14, 42-40, 53-57, 65-79.