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PBA: NLEX dusts dirt off shoulders, deals NorthPort second straight loss


NLEX sent NorthPort skidding, 112-104, to earn redemption in the PBA Season 48 Commissioner’s Cup, Wednesday night at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

Coming off a heartbreaking 113-112 defeat at the hands of Terrafirma last Saturday, the Road Warriors took control of the game early and stayed ahead, eventually scoring the wire-to-wire win to improve to 2-2 in the standings.

Thomas Robinson led the way with 30 points and 18 rebounds, together with two assists and two steals in almost 32 minutes of action.

Don Trollano supplied 29 points, including 18 in the first quarter alone as he steered NLEX to a 37-23 advantage entering the next frame.

Kris Rosales supplied 15 points, five rebounds, and nine assists while Sean Anthony chipped in 10 markers as the crew played their first outing without main man Kevin Alas, who suffered the third ACL injury of his career.

The star guard is expected to be out for a long time once again after getting hurt early in the second quarter of their game versus the Dyip.

“It was pretty hard,” said head coach Frankie Lim. “Because we always use Kevin in our pick-and-roll plays. Now, we don’t have that kind of player.”

The win, however, was not in any way served on a silver platter. NLEX saw what was once a 17-point lead become just four, 95-91, with 6:56 remaining in the game no thanks to a Batang Pier surge led by Joshua Munzon.

But the aforementioned made sure that no collapse whatsoever would occur, with Robinson applying the knockout blows as he scored six straight points to give themselves the 107-96 advantage with 2:22 left to play.

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“The tendency was to relax and stop executing plays,” said Lim of almost losing the lead. “I told them at halftime that the reason why we’re up by so much is because we did the right things — executing plays, and being patient.”

NLEX will try to get a winning streak going against the top-seeded Magnolia (4-0) on December 1, Friday, 8 p.m. at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.

Munzon, on the other hand, led NorthPort with a conference-high 22 points in the loss, now their second in a row after a 2-0 start into the season.

Venky Jois had 20 points and 19 rebounds, Tolentino made 19 points while rookie Cade Flores added 15 markers and nine boards for the Batang Pier.

NorthPort will look to arrest its skid right away against TNT, who’s coming off a 133-93 rout of Terrafirma earlier, also on December 1.

The Scores:

NLEX 112 – Robinson 30, Trollano 29, Rosales 15, Anthony 10, Herndon 8, Rodger 7, Semerad 5, Pascual 4, Miranda 2, Marcelo 2, Fajardo 0, Gabo 0.

NorthPort 104 – Munzon 22, Jois 20, Tolentino 19, Flores 15, Chan 9, Calma 6, Paraiso 5, Salado 3, Ayaay 2, Yu 2, Taha 1, Caperal 0, Amores 0.

Quarterscores: 37-23, 60-53, 91-77, 112-104

Written By

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


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