NLEX shows ‘good progress’ in preseason win over SMB
MANILA, Philippines — NLEX kept its composure down the stretch to beat San Miguel Beer, 103-97, in a tune-up game Monday at Upper Deck Sports Center in Pasig City.
Trailing by two, 90-88, the Road Warriors went on a 15-7 spurt inside the final five minutes to eke out the win.
“Any win is a good win even if it’s in practice, but we know scrimmages like this are basically just trying to feel out your progress as a team,” NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao told reporters.
“So it’s a good thing to beat San Miguel, but this is not going to be an indication of how they will play in the conference itself.”
Still, Guiao likes the direction his team is going two weeks before the 45th Season of the PBA tips off, though, he admits the Road Warriors still have a long way to go in getting to their desired form.
“But overall, I feel we have good progress in terms of getting to where we want to be before opening day,” Guiao said.
“We need to get in better shape. We’re not in that good of shape yet. We put in a few new plays in our offense and we haven’t executed to my satisfaction. Maybe we’re 70, 75 percent at this point. We’ve got a few more weeks to get close to a hundred percent.”
Kris Porter completed a three-point play to put NLEX ahead for good, 91-90, with 4:47 left before a basket by Kenneth Ighalo and two free throws by Kiefer Ravena with 11.3 ticks to go sealed the game.
JR Quiñahan scored a team-high 14 points for the Road Warriors, who would’ve have created more separation had they made more at the free throw line instead of going 14-of-28.
Ravena added 11 points and five assists while Porter gave his team a big lift with nine points and six rebounds.
Mo Tautuaa had 15 points and five rebounds while Terrence Romeo, Alex Cabagnot and Arwind Santos each tallied 14 for the Beermen, who shot 51 percent from the field.
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