NLEX nips Phoenix, ends campaign with back-to-back wins
NLEX ended its campaign on a high note after edging Phoenix, 116-114, in the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Saturday at Ynares Center in Antipolo.
Alex Mallari led the way with 22 points on top of nine rebounds and five assists for the Road Warriors.
“We just wanted to make a good last impression going to the third conference,” said NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao.
“We’re trying to gain as much confidence. Thats the best we can do. We’re also trying to gel the new guys, and it’s working,” he added.
Guiao, the multi-titled mentor, was referring to Mallari and JR Quiñahan, who, along with veteran sharpshooter Larry Fonacier, were acquired in a four-team trade earlier in the month.
Quiñahan, who won two championships with Guiao during their stay at Rain or Shine, contributed 14 points, four rebounds and a block in less than 20 minutes off the bench.
The Road Warriors, who dropped their first nine games this conference, posted their second straight victory after stunning the Alaska Aces, 100-92, on Wednesday.
Import Wayne Chism notched a double-double with 20 points and 13 rebounds to help spoil Phoenix rookie Matthew Wright’s career performance.
Wright exploded for 42 points on a blistering 15-of-25 shooting from the field including five 3-pointers.
The Fuel Masters reeled to their second setback in a row after a 122-121 overtime loss to Mahindra on Sunday to wrap up the elimination round with a 4-7 mark.
NLEX 116 – Mallari 22, Chism 20, Quinahan 14, Lastimosa 10, Alas10, Monfort 9, Al-Hussaini 8, Tiingson 7, Rios 6,Gotladera 4, Taulava 2, Baracael 2, Soyud 2.
PHOENIX 114 – Wright 42, McKay 16, Jazul 13, Baguio 8, Torres 9, W. Wilson 7, Borboran 6, Alolino 5, J. Wilson 5, Intal 2, Dehesa 2, Kramer 0, Miranda 0.
Quarters: 35-22, 59-46, 83-79, 116-114.
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