Taulava’s 20-20 helps NLEX escape Meralco
Asi Taulava had a 20-20 game and NLEX escaped Meralco, 93-91, to move into solo fourth place in the 2016 Smart Bro PBA Philippine Cup Tuesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Taulava, still going strong at 42, collected 22 points and 21 rebounds to help the Road Warriors notch their fourth win in six games.
“We’re happy to get this two straight against our sister teams,” said NLEX head coach Boyet Fernandez, whose squad won its second straight game after nipping Talk ‘N Text, 107-101, last Friday. “Hopefully we can erase that little brother name.”
“You don’t need to motivate a player like Asi Taulava. He comes earlier than everyone else in practice and he’s the last one to leave,” Fernandez said.
Jonas Villanueva added 19 points while Sean Anthony had 17 points, including two free throws that gave the Road Warriors a 92-91 edge with 8.8 seconds left.
Gary David nearly ended up as the game’s hero for Meralco when his left corner triple off a wild sequence put the Bolts ahead, 91-90, with 9.8 ticks to go. But Jared Dillinger fouled Anthony a second later off an inbound play and Kevin Alas split his charities in the last eight seconds as the Road Warriors survived.
Anthony also grabbed nine rebounds against his former team while Alas added 16, seven coming in the opening quarter.
Chris Newsome scored 21 points while David fired 10 of his 19 points in the fourth period. The two guards led Meralco’s rally from 90-84 down inside the final 1:24.
The Bolts failed to follow up their 87-83 victory over the Star Hotshots last Saturday.
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