TNT 3-game win run snapped as NLEX finally gets one over sister team
NLEX woke up just in time to end its two-game skid and turned back Talk ‘N Text, 107-101, Friday in the 2016 Smart Bro PBA Philippine Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
It was the franchise’s first win against its fancied sister team, putting a stop to the Tropang Texters’ three-game winning run.
“It’s really nice winning against TNT for the first time since the entry of NLEX in the league,” said coach Boyet Fernandez, whose wards improved to 3-2 and tied TNT, GlobalPort, and Barako Bull for a share of the fourth spot.
The Road Warriors clawed back from a 17-point deficit, 71-54, in the third quarter and took control in the clutch, turning a 90-87 deficit to a 100-94 lead with a minute half to go using a spirited 13-4 blast.
Sean Anthony carried NLEX with a career-high 32 points, 12 rebounds, and two assists while Simon Enciso also recorded another stupendous performance, pouring in 13 of his 19 markers in that third period fightback.
Asi Taulava got a double-double with 18 points and 18 rebounds, while Jonas Villanueva had 10 markers, six of which coming from a pair of booming treys in the payoff period, alongside six assists and two boards.
“We’re down by as much as 14 (sic) in the third and we came back. It’s a credit to the players who played well tonight: Jonas, Asi, Sean, Simon, and Garvo (Lanete),” said Fernandez. “It’s nice to get back on the winning track. It’s really a test of character for us in this game.”
Troy Rosario paced TNT with 20 points and seven boards while Larry Fonacier got 18.
Jayson Castro struggled from the field, going 0-for-8 from threes, but still was able to wind up with 15 points, nine rebounds, and six assists in the defeat.
NLEX 107 – Anthony 32, Enciso 19, Taulava 18, J. Villanueva 10, Khobuntin 7, Camson 4, Reyes 4, Alas 3, Borboran 3, Lanete 3, Apinan 2, Cardona 2.
TNT 101 – Rosario 20, Fonacier 18, Seigle 17, Castro 15, Tautuaa 11, Carey 6, Ganuelas-Rosser 6, R. Reyes 6, Williams 2, Aban 0, Miranda 0, J. Reyes 0.
Quarters: 21-26, 44-49, 70-77, 107-101.