NLEX blows out Hog’s Breath to end 2-game skidBy Mark Giongco
MANILA, Philippines - NLEX vented its ire on Hog’s Breath 90-54 to snap a two-game losing skid Tuesday for its first win in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan.
Jake Pascual notched a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds on top of three assists and a block for the Road Warriors, who dropped their first two assignments against rivals Big Chill and Cebuana Lhuillier.
“I’m happy everybody stepped up. We’re starting to doubt ourselves,” said NLEX head coach Boyet Fernandez, who also said his team is still adjusting with the departure of its two big men Greg Slaughter and Ian Sangalang. “We’re just really happy to get over this game and win.”
“Jake is one of our legit four and I credit him for playing the five. We’re still trying to look for a big guy to fortify the post. We never thought our two guys will leave us.”
But with Pascual imposing his will, NLEX hardly missed the absence of Slaughter and Sangalang.
The Razorbacks kept it somewhat a close game, down by just 10, 22-32, at the intermission. It wasn’t the case in the third quarter.
The Road Warriors shifted into high gear in the pivotal third period and put up a 19-4 run, leaving their opponents in the dust for a 51-26 lead after a two-handed dunk by Ronald Pascual with 5:44 left.
Garvo Lanete led NLEX in scoring 15 of his 18 points from behind the arc while RR Garcia added 14 after also lighting it up from deep.
Garcia, who had 11 in the fourth quarter, uncorked his last trey with 1:35 left that made it, 85-49.
The Road Warriors, who had 26 assists and only six turnovers, lost 64-71 at the hands of the Gems last Thursday after a 77-86 setback to the Superchargers in overtime in their first game of the conference.
But after NLEX’s 36-point win with everyone seemingly getting back into the flow of things, the Road Warriors reminded the league of one thing: “We’re still a formidable lineup in terms of talent.”