NLEX blitzes past San Miguel, keeps pace for playoff spot
MANILA, Philippines—NLEX rang up its third straight win after humbling defending champion San Miguel, 124-90, in the PBA Philippine Cup Friday at Angeles University Foundation.
It took them long enough but the Road Warriors successfully found their stride and are now on a three-game winning streak to bump their record to 4-5 to keep their playoff hopes alive.
NLEX had a steady start to the game taking a 36-25 lead after the first but accelerated from then on to take a 20-point lead, 67-47, heading into the break.
The Road Warriors went full throttle in the fourth with a 22-10 run to take a commanding 113-75 lead after Kenneth Ighalo converted on a layup with 5:51 left in the game.
NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao said that they were dealt with the right cards in the game as their conditioning is slowly getting to peak shape combined with the Beermen experiencing the fatigue of playing the second game of a back-to-back.
San Miguel is missing six-time MVP June Mar Fajardo and former scoring champion Terrence Romeo due to injuries.
“We’re extremely lucky because not only were they undermanned, they’re also tired because they just played in an overtime game a few days ago and yesterday they were also playing,” said Guiao.
“I hate to be in their place but that’s the life here inside the bubble. Everything’s fast paced, everything’s a unique situation and you have to adapt and if you don’t then you’re in trouble.”
Michael Miranda had a perfect game, offense-wise, putting up 22 points on 8-of-8 shooting including four makes from deep with seven rebounds to lead the Road Warriors.
Kevin Alas added 19 points, nine boards, and five assists for NLEX while Kiefer Ravena also had his share of the stat sheet stuffing with 14 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists.
Paul Zamar led the Beermen with 23 points while Von Pessumal and Moala Tautuaa added 11 and 10 points, respectively.
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