PBA: NLEX keeps playoff hopes alive, ousts Blackwater | Inquirer Sports

PBA: NLEX keeps playoff hopes alive, ousts Blackwater

/ 06:50 PM December 22, 2023

Robert Bolick NLEX PBA

NLEX guard Robert Bolick.–PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines–NLEX survived a tight endgame with equally desperate Blackwater on Friday night to pull out a 104-97 victory at Smart Araneta Coliseum, keeping the Road Warriors in the hunt for the last playoff spot in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

After playing goat in his NLEX debut, Robert Bolick made a key stop with eight ticks left and then scored four points to seal the win and show the Bossing the door.

“All credit to our coaches, they put me in quite a position. Credit also to my teammates, they came ready to play. We’ve failed so many times, we wanted to have a nice Christmas,” Bolick said on the heels of a 30-point, 15-assist performance.

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“We struggled a bit, especially in the first half … I told them (players) it’s very important to win this game, that if they wanted to make the next round, we start today,” said head coach Frankie Lim, whose charges rose to 3-6 overall, bumping off Terrafirma for the 9th spot in the race.

Import Stokley Chaffee Jr. added 20 points, Jhan Nermal 15, Brandon Ganuelas Rosser 12 and Enoch Valdez 11 as NLEX turned its sights on Converge and then defending champion Barangay Ginebra, needing no less a sweep to bolster its chances of advancing to the knockout stage.

Blackwater drew 27 points from import Christian Ortiz, 17 more from rookie Christian David, and 16 from diminutive guard RK Ilagan. But after absorbing an 8th straight loss, the club will now have to focus on the next conference as it has officially crashed out of playoff contention.

The Bossing will have two more chances to notch a win when it plays NorthPort and then San Miguel in January.

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TAGS: Blackwater Bossing, NLEX Road Warriors, PBA

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