NLEX back in finals; Boracay forges KO
After a shaky start, NLEX is back in familiar territory.
The Road Warriors advanced to the finals for the fifth straight conference after subduing the Big Chill Superchargers, 80-71, last night to complete a sweep of their PBA D-League Foundation Cup best-of-three semifinal series at Ateneo’s Blue Eagle Gym.
Kirk Long scored 12 points and Kevin Alas chipped in 10 as the Road Warriors used a balanced attack to finish off the Superchargers.
“I thought we played good defense, made stops and scored in transition,” said NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez.
The Road Warriors will face the winner of the series pitting Blackwater Elite and Boracay Rum which was extended to a deciding duel after the Waves hacked out a 69-65 win in Game 2.
With their season on the line, the Waves played with urgency and leaned on the stellar play of Maclean Sabellina to level the series.
Sabellina fired 10 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter, including four straight baskets that gave the Waves cushion in the final minute.
“We were resilient in this game,” said Waves coach Lawrence Chongson. “We always strive when our backs are against the wall. And this conference I don’t think we lost back-to-back games.”
Chongson also praised Sabellina for his performance in the stretch.
“I thought Mac played fireman in this game. He stepped up when the chips were down,” said Chongson.
BORACAY RUM 69—Acibar 14, Sabellina 14, Fernandez 9, Eguilos 7, Ilagan 7, Arellano 5, Siruma 4, Tagarda 3, Pasculado 2, Cabrera 2, Taha 2, Viernes 0.
BLACKWATER ELITE 65—Ferrer 14, Ciriacruz 14, Celiz 11, Chua 7, Vigil 7, Suguitan 6, Mangahas 5, Austria 1, Bagatsing 0, Pe 0, Llagas 0.
Quarters: 16-9, 35-27, 53-41, 69-65.
NLEX 80—Long 12, Alas 10, Camson 9, Slaughter 8, Salva 8, Garcia 8, Villarias 7, Hermida 7, Pascual 4, Lanete 3, Ganuelas 2, Pascual 2.
BIG CHILL 71—Romeo 25, Lozada 13, Apinan 13, Montilla 9, Villahermosa 6, Heruela 3, Bringas 2, Bonifacio 0, Holstein 0, Canlas 0, Dumapig 0, Santos 0.
Quarters: 18-14; n34-29; 55-47; 80-71
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