NLEX blows past ROS; Star stays in the hunt | Inquirer Sports

NLEX blows past ROS; Star stays in the hunt

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 01:48 AM September 05, 2016

PBA IMAGES

PBA IMAGES

NLEX dropped a huge fourth-quarter bomb on Rain or Shine Sunday night to complete a come-from-behind 111-99 victory and remain in the running for a berth in the playoffs of the PBA Governors’ Cup at Mall of Asia Arena.

The Road Warriors made a game out of it by crawling back from 21 points down in the first half before scoring 40 points in the fourth to win pulling away.

They improved to 4-5, tying their victims.

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“The players simply didn’t give up,” NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez said after the Road Warriors matched the biggest comeback in franchise history while snapping a two-game losing streak.

“This (win) gives us a chance to fight again for a playoff seat.”

Star also stayed alive for a place in the next round with a pulsating 104-103 win over Meralco as import Joel Wright scored on a running jumper with seven-tenths of a second left.

The Hotshots snapped a five-game losing skid with just their second win in nine games. They need to win their last two games against TNT KaTropa and Rain or Shine to have a chance at forging a playoff for the last Final Eight spot.

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Meralco kissed its top four hopes goodbye after dropping to 5-5 overall.

Rookie Garvo Lanete scored 12 of his career-high-tying 21 points, Sean Anthony tossed in 10 and Henry Walker had eight of his 23 in a smoking fourth quarter that the Elasto Painters didn’t come close to matching.

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Rain or Shine broke out of the gates with all guns firing, opening up a 48-27 lead halfway through the second period.

The NLEX rally also completed the biggest turnaround in the league since the 2008 Philippine Cup, when Talk ‘N Text rallied to clip Ginebra San Miguel, 103-90.

The win put NLEX inside the circle of eight teams that will advance if the playoffs were to start tomorrow. The Road Warriors and the Elasto Painters are half a game ahead of Alaska and GlobalPort, which sport 3-5 records.

Rain or Shine was doomed as Jason Forte, in his second game since arriving on Thursday to replace Dior Lowhorn, proved to be a big disappointment with just seven points.

The scores:

First Game

NLEX 111—Walker 23, Lanete 21, Villanueva E. 14, Anthony 12, Khobuntin 10, Alas 8, Villanueva J. 7, Taulava 6, Arboleda 5, Baracael 5, Monfort 0, Akl 0.

RAIN OR SHINE 99—Lee 23, Chan 18, Cruz 16, Quinahan 11, Ahanmisi 8, Forte 7, Norwood 6, Nimes 3, Belga 3, Almazan 2, Trollano 2.

Quarters: 12-30, 42-52, 71-75, 111-99

Second Game

STAR 104—Wright 27, Simon 16, Maliksi 15, Pingris 15, Barroca 13, Mallari 7, Garcia 6, Brondial 2, Melton 2, Gaco 1, Pascual 0, Reavis 0.

MERALCO 103—Durham 27, Newsome 20, Hodge 18, Alapag 14, Hugnatan 11, Nabong 7, Amer 3, Faundo 2, Dillinger 1, Buenafe 0, Caram 0.

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Quarters: 31-23, 50-52, 83-70, 104-103

TAGS: 2016 Governors' Cup, Joel Wright, Meralco Bolts, NLEX Road Warriors, Rain or Shine, Star Hotshots

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