NLEX blasts NorthPort for 2-0 start
ANTIPOLO—NLEX posted its second straight win at the expense of NorthPort, 123-107, in the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup Sunday at Ynares Center in Antipolo
The Road Warriors emerged as the early leaders in the standings with a 2-0 record while denying the Batang Pier a win in their first game.
Oluseyi Ashaolu, playing with a partially torn patellar tendon on his right knee, still put up big numbers for the Road Warriors with 27 points and 13 rebounds.
NLEX started to establish its aggression in the third quarter when it outscored the Batang Pier 33-20 in the period and head into the fourth with a 94-78 lead.
The Batang Pier, though, made a run at the lead and cut it to nine, 104-95, after Rashad Woods’ jumper at the 4:53 mark.
Kenneth Ighalo answered Northport’s advances with two straight three-pointers, the second of which came from Woods’ turnover, for NLEX’ 110-95 lead with 4:21 left in the game.
Assistant coach Jojo Lastimosa said the team has so far responded well to him and the other deputies even without head coach Yeng Guiao, who’s in Indonesia calling the shots for the national team.
“I’m somewhat surprised but somewhat not surprised with the way the guys have responded,” said Lastimosa of their 2-0 start. “They responded well to our challenges and in order for us to win it will need a collective effort from all of us.”
Ashaolu didn’t carry NLEX’ offensive burden alone as he had six teammates who finished in double digits.
Mac Tallo and Larry Fonacier put up 14 points apiece for the Road Warriors while JR Quiñahan added 12 points and seven rebounds.
Kenneth Ighalo pitched in 11 points for NLEX with Alex Mallari and Juami Tiongson adding in 10 points each.
Woods had a game-high 42 points to go with 12 rebound and eight assists for the Batang Pier while Moala Tautuaa finished with his own double-double of 20 points and 12 boards.
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