Veterans lift NLEX past Ginebra in defensive struggle

By Paul Lintag on Feb 03, 2018 07:09 PM

Behind the heroics of its veteran role players, NLEX improved to 3-4 in the standings, tying the Gin Kings.

NLEX is finally back in the winning column.

The Road Warriors snapped a four-game losing skid in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup, scoring a come-from-behind victory over Brgy. Ginebra, 81-78, Saturday at the Cuneta Astrodome.

Behind the heroics of its veteran role players, NLEX improved to 3-4 in the standings, tying the Gin Kings.

Larry Fonacier, Cyrus Baguio, and JR Quinahan all had good outings for the Road Warriors, helping NLEX erase a 14-point deficit in the secomd half.

Fonacier led the way with 17 points, firing clutch shots in the fourth period inclucing a booming three that finally gave NLEX the lead, 75-73, with five minutes to go. Larry also calmy made a free throw to in the last four seconds for a two-point Road Warriors lead after the Gin Kings were called for a technical due to a blunder in making a substitution.

Quinahan was also clutch for coach Yeng Guiao's crew as the veteran forward made back-to-back jumpers to turn a 75-77 deficit into a 79-77 lead with 1:57 remaining. He finished with 14 points.

Finally, Baguio came away with 13 points, 11 in the fourth, to spark NLEX's late uprising. Baguio also had six rebounds, three assists, and four steals.

"We just put on the effort and sheer determination. The important thing for us is we break our losing streak and we ave ourselves a chance to be in the fight. Just having the chance to play the next games with a hope that we can we can make it in the next round," Guiao said.

"Just having the fight, that would be a big encouragement for us," he added.

All game long, NLEX struggled to match up with Ginebra's size on the block but the Road Warriors made up for it by scoring 31 points off of 24 turnovers from the Gin Kings.

For Ginebra, who now lost four of its last five games, Japeth Aguilar led the way with 21 points but 17 came in the second half. Aguilar also badly missed a wide-open corner three that would have give the Gin Kings the lead with eight seconds to go.


The Scores: 

NLEX (81): Fonacier 18, Quinahan 14, Baguio 13, Mallari 11, Ravena 7, Taulava 5, Tiongson 4, Alas 4, Miranda 2, Soyud 2, Ighalo 2, Uyloan 0, Gotladera 0

Ginebra (78): J. Aguilar 21, Tenorio 12, R. Aguilar 9, Slaughter 9, Thompson 8, Cruz 8, Ferrer 6, Mercado 5, Taha 0, Caguioa 0

Quarter scores: 19-20, 35-43, 55-59, 81-78



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