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PBA: Clutch Rodger keeps NLEX alive, wastes Wilson’s big game


NLEX survived Converge, 107-103, to stay afloat in the PBA Season 48 Commissioner’s Cup, Wednesday night at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

Robert Bolick, new import DeAndre Williams-Baldwin, and Ritchie Rodger nailed crucial shots to stave off Jamil Wilson in the endgame.

The Road Warriors have hiked their card to 4-6, tying sister team TNT at the No. 8 spot in the standings.

Now, they turn their attention to Saturday’s match against Barangay Ginebra in Legazpi City, Albay with the aim of fanning their chances further.

“Everybody has to step up. Matter of life and death. Either we go on to the next round, or pahinga,” said head coach Frankie Lim postgame.

Williams-Baldwin made a good account of himself with 22 points, 15 rebounds, and seven assists to lead his side to the important victory.

Enoch Valdez provided the surprise spark as the rookie out of Lyceum came through with 19 points on 4-of-6 shooting from deep. He scored 10 of his points in the final period in an outing that also saw him grab nine rebounds.

Bolick tallied a double-double of 15 points and 11 assists, together with four rebounds. Rodger and veteran Sean Anthony finished with 14 points apiece while Jhan Nermal chipped in 12 markers for the Road Warriors.

Such a collective effort enabled NLEX to overcome the performance of Wilson, who carried the also-ran FiberXers with 50 points and 14 rebounds.

The former NBA forward brought his team within three thrice inside the final 2:55 after being down by as much as 11 early.

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However, NLEX had answers, and his teammates couldn’t help Wilson get the team any closer.

After allowing Rodger to sink a perimeter J, Justin Arana fell short of chopping the 107-102 deficit after only splitting his foul shots.

The FiberXers had one last try to do so but JL Delos Santos turned the ball over after his pass intended to Mike Nieto underneath was anticipated.

Arana was the only other double-digit scorer with 19 for Converge, who will end its conference against Rain or Shine on Sunday at the Philsports Arena.


The Scores:

NLEX 107 Williams-Baldwin 22, Valdez 19, Bolick 15, Anthony 14, Rodger 14, Nermal 12, Miranda 6, Herndon 5, Salado 0, Fajardo 0, Semerad 0.

Converge 103 – Wilson 50, Arana 19, Fornilos 8, Melecio 5, Nieto 5, Stockton 4, Fleming 4, Wong 4, Winston 2, Maagdenberg 2, Ambohot 0, Delos Santos 0, Santos 0.

Quarterscores: 25-22, 51-43, 80-81, 107-103

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.


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