MANILA, Philippines – Defending champion NLEX beat Cagayan Valley, 85-79, in a rematch of last conference’s finals Tuesday in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the JCSGO Gym in Cubao.
Nico Salva had a game-high 17 points, nine in the first quarter, to help the Road Warriors roll to their fourth straight win after starting the conference at 0-2.
Ronald Pascual added 14 points and nine rebounds while Jake Pascual collected 10 points, nine rebounds and three blocks.
The Rising Suns came out firing to start the third quarter to take a 46-41 lead after an 8-0 run highlighted by two triples from Andrian Celada.
NLEX regained the upper hand after a trey by Garvo Lanete from the right wing, 61-60, at the 2:34 mark of the third period.
Cagayan, which fell to 3-4, doubled the pressure but to no avail as NLEX was able to adjust.
A putback by Jake Pascual made it, 85-76, with 1:29 remaining, stopping Cagayan’s late-game push.
Celada and Joshua Webb had 13 apiece for the Suns, who committed twice as much turnovers with 20.