Road Warriors dazzle Gems; Big Chill hot | Inquirer Sports

Road Warriors dazzle Gems; Big Chill hot

By: - Reporter / @jwpayoINQ
/ 09:40 PM January 12, 2012

MANILA, Philippines—NLEX continued to prove its superiority over Cebuana Lhuillier as the Road Warriors overwhelmed the Gems, 87-69, to wrest top spot and clinch an outright semifinal berth in the PBA D-League Aspirants Cup Thursday at the San Juan Gym.

RR Garcia unloaded 24 points to lead the relentless attack as the Road Warriors rolled to the longest winning streak of the season at seven games. The former UAAP MVP who turned 22 yesterday, drilled all but one of the Road Warriors’ six triples and also had five rebounds and four assists.

Ian Sangalang buried 18 markers and grabbed nine boards, while Calvin Abueca posted a double-double of 16 points and 11 boards in the rematch of last season’s finals.


“All I had to do was manage their time since everyone was playing well,” NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez said of his defending champions, who can seal their hold of the top spot on the final elimination day on Tuesday.


Earlier, Jesse Collado and Elliot Tan knocked in key baskets in the final stretch as Big Chill nipped Blackwater, 58-55, to clinch a twice-to-beat bonus in the quarterfinals.

Collado scored on a layup that lifted the Superchargers up, 57-55, after Tan kept them in the fight with five straight points.

Boasting an array of varsity stars, the Road Warriors jumped to a 17-6 start and padded the lead to as many as 29 points, 70-41, at the end of the third period.

The Gems, which had already secured an outright semifinal stint, wrapped up their elimination run with an 8-2 record.

“It was more of pride because we haven’t lost against Cebuana since last season,” said Fernandez, whose Road Warriors also outrebounded the Gems, 58-26.
The scores:
First Game
BIG CHILL 58—Ponferrada 13, Glorioso 9, Tan 8, Custodio 6, Maconocido 6, Collado 5, Mallari 4, Jensen 4, Santos 3, Dizon 0.
BLACKWATER 55—Fortuna 13, Bringas 10, Bautista 9, Pascual 6, Acidre 5, I. Ciriacruz 5, Camus 3, Tan 2, Marata 2, Doligon 0, G. Ciriacruz 0.
Quarters: 20-19, 27-30, 48-43, 58-55
Second Game
NLEX 87—Garcia 24, Sangalang 18, Abueva 16, Ellis 9, Lanete 7, Hodge 5, Co 4, Dehesa 2, Marcelo 2, Monfort 0, Belencion 0, Arao 0.
CEBUANA LHUILLIER 69—Reyes 13, Manuel 13, Romeo 9, Exciminiano 9, Mangahas 6, Celada 5, Jeffries 4, Alas 3, Cruz 3, Llagas 2, Hayes 2, Almazan 0,
Quarters: 23-9, 43-26, 70-41, 87-69

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TAGS: Big Chill, NLEX, Road Warriors, San Juan Gym

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