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NLEX survives shoot-out, spoils return of Slash brothers

The NLEX Road Warriors almost squandered an 18-point first quarter lead but managed to squeak past Globalport, 110-105 Friday night in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

The Road Warriors made six triples in the first quarter alone, racing off to a 35-17 lead although the team had to weather a comeback attempt from the Batang Pier, which were anchored by the return of Stanley Pringle and Terrence Romeo.

The Batang Pier outscored the Road Warriors, 55-43 in the middle quarters with the backcourt duo combining for 17 points in that stretch, before Doug Kramer tied the game at 84 early in the fourth quarter.

Asi Taulava and Al Thornton then converted on three-point plays, putting NLEX back in the driver’s seat, 90-84.

But Globalport refused to surrender, as Shawn Taggart scored four straight to tie the count again at 95 apiece. But Thornton and Kevin Alas joined hands in a 7-0 run which made it a 102-95 seperation for the Road Warriors to seal the win.

“Again, it’s really the effort of my players which wanted to win tonight,” NLEX head coach Boyet Fernandez said.

“They (Globalport) came back from 18 points down but everybody stepped up today. It’s just credit to my players.”

NLEX improved to 5-4 with the win, creating a four-way tie with TNT, Ginebra, and Rain or Shine from fourth to seventh in the team standings.

Thornton topscored with 33 points and added 19 rebounds and six assists, while five others scored in double-figures for the Road Warriors.

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Sean Anthony chipped in 21 points, six rebounds, and three assists, while Kevin Alas added 18 points including a perfect 5-for-5 from three-point area.

Romeo led the Batang Pier with 27 points on 8-for-13 three-point shooting, while Taggart contributed 22 points and 14 rebounds.

Globalport dropped to 2-7, as its hopes of making it to the next round continues to dim.

The Scores:

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.

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