NLEX a win away from finals after beating tough Cebuana Lhuillier
MANILA, Philippines—NLEX got away with a 70-60 victory over a tough Cebuana Lhuillier side to move to within a win of another finals stint in the 2014 PBA D-League Foundation Cup Thursday.
Ola Adeogun led four Road Warriors in double figures as he finished with 11 points and 13 rebounds. Jake Pascual and Garvo Lanete had 11 markers apiece while Kevin Alas added 10.
The Road Warriors seized control with a 15-4 run to close the second quarter and led by as many as 14 points, but had to summon their championship experience to ward off the Gems.
“Credit goes to my players. They never lost their focus despite the highly-physical game,” said NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez.
“They stepped up offensively and defensively everytime Cebuana makes run.”
Cebuana pulled within 58-62 on a 9-3 run sparked by back-to-back triples from Bam Gamalinda with 1:54 left, but Baser Amer retaliated with a trey 19 seconds later to seal the match.
NLEX can advance to the finals anew with a win in Game 2 of the best-of-semifinals series scheduled on Tuesday at the Ynares Arena.
Alvin Padilla scored 15 points while Gamalinda added 11 for the Gems, who got a huge boost from their reserves with 41 points but couldn’t get the combination to take over the Road Warriors all game.