The memories of the NLEX Road Warriors’ loss to the Meralco Bolts last October 14 remain fresh in the mind of Aaron Fuller.
Fuller witnessed how his Road Warriors built a tall 16-point wall early in the fourth quarter, only to allow their sister team to break it into pieces, thanks to the efforts of two-time Best Import Allen Durham and Baser Amer.
The Road Warriors lost, 105-108, marking their third straight victory and sending their card to 4-5.
“That was a huge loss,” recalled Fuller, who had 31 points and 13 rebounds in that game but fouled out late. “Was really disappointed with ourselves.
“We watched the tape and saw how close we were and how we gave it away.”
So on Friday night at the Ynares Center in Antipolo against Mike Harris and the Alaska Aces, Fuller made it a point not to allow another meltdown.
And he made it. Excellently.
The 6-foot-5 bruiser from Mesa, Arizona put up monster numbers of 42 points on 18-of-36 shooting along with 22 rebounds, two assists, and two steals, to tow his Road Warriors past the Milkmen in overtime, 116-110, to snap their funk.
Fuller was also the one who sent the game into extra period, sinking a highly-contested under-basket stab with 2.7 seconds left in regulation. He also made a huge impact in OT by scoring seven of NLEX’s 17 overtime points.
“We definitely didn’t want a repeat of that today,” said Fuller. “We knew it was gonna be a tough game coming into it. We focused on defense and rebounding. We took the hard way to get the win but we’re so happy we came out on top.”
Not only did they end their slump with the victory, but the Road Warriors also moved a step closer from qualifying in the 2018 Governors’ Cup quarterfinals. A win over the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters on November 3 will formalize their entry.
“It’s huge. We really wanted to win this next two games. We knew this is gonna be a really tough game. So now we have one more, hopefully we could carry this momentum to our last game.”