NLEX zooms to 5th win | Inquirer Sports

NLEX zooms to 5th win

New look Rain or Shine hands KIA sixth straight defeat in Governors’ Cup
By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 05:15 AM August 14, 2017

NLEX bounced back from its first loss in the PBA Governors’ Cup by taking down fancied Meralco on Sunday night, and coach Yeng Guiao wants to pinch himself if this is really happening.

Kevin Alas scored 21 points and hit some crucial baskets down the stretch as the Road Warriors became the first team to deal the Bolts a loss, 100-94, at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

Guiao said their fifth victory in six games is like “passing a tough test against a quality team.”


“It’s still a reality check for us,” Guiao said. “It’s still kind of surreal seeing ourselves atop the standings after beating a good team like Meralco with the reigning Best Import.”


The NLEX victory left idle leader Star as the only undefeated team at 3-0.

And Guiao was quick to point out that he was more appreciative at one very glaring intangible that they achieved in bringing down the Bolts, which fell to 4-1, and Allen Durham.

“I think the maturity of this team is developing,” Guiao said.

Earlier, Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia gave his new look crew a passing grade in their first game together, though the Elasto Painters hardly looked championship material against Kia Picanto.

J’Nathan Bullock scored 20 points and had 10 rebounds and Chris Tiu came off the bench to shoot 13 in 31 minutes as they led the Painters to a 94-86 decision of winless KIA that snapped a two-game skid.

With three new players in the roster, counting Bullock and Norwood and Raymond Almazan playing for Gilas Pilipinas in the ongoing Fiba Asia Cup in Beirut, the Painters couldn’t put the Picanto away with authority.


But Garcia praised Bullock, Ed Daquioag and Mark Borboran for coming up with decent games despite being with the team for just over a week after an overhaul that saw management deali away resident star shooter Jeff Chan.

“They played well today and gave us quality minutes,” Garcia said of Daquioag and Borboran. “I don’t think we will have a problem achieving chemistry [in the long run].”

Rain or Shine improved to 2-2 and dealt the Picanto a sixth straight loss.

KIA has now lost its last seven games dating back to the Commissioner’s Cup and is 0-9 against the Painters since joining the league in 2014 together with fellow expansion club Blackwater.

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Former University of Santo Tomas star Daquioag, acquired from Meralco in exchange for fellow rookie and Gilas Cadet Mike Tolomia, finished with eight points after hitting all his three attempts from the field.

TAGS: Basketball, NLEX, PBA Governors' Cup

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