Coach Yeng Guiao and his troops rediscovered their winning form after five tries to finally end their slump, turning back the mighty KaTropa, 110-98, to claim their second victory in the ongoing PBA Philippine Cup, Saturday night.
The Road Warriors did their very best to eek out a win in a close contest against TNT, and they did not disappoint, after unleashing a 17-4 finishing kick to give mentor Yeng Guiao a post-holiday gift in front of his fellow Kapampangans, inside the AUF Sports Arena and Cultural Center in Angeles, City.
It was Carlo Lastimosa, Sean Anthony, and Bradwyn Guinto for the Road Warriors who did the most damage in the game particularly in the crunch time after hitting crucial baskets.
Carlo Lastimosa bursted seven of his 22-point output in the fourth while bigs Guinto and Anthony combined for 24 points to help the NLEX escape the TNT KaTropa that had Jayson Castro exploding for 17 points, 5 rebounds, and 7 assists.
With the win, NLEX improved to 2-5 record and got a better shot at the playoffs round.
Meanwhile, the TNT KaTropa, one of the league’s better three-point shooting team, had a bad night after only converting 8-of-24 from the long bomb.
Aside from Castro, Mo Tautuaa and Kris Rosales were the only players in the TNT side who registered in double figures with 15 points apiece as Ranidel de Ocampo couldn’t help the team after injuring his ankle and leaving the game in the second canto. In nine minutes of play, he amassed 7 points while former Gilas guards Larry Fonacier and Ryan Reyes, chipped in 9 and 7 points, respectively.
After erecting a two-game winning streak and ending the 2016 with 4-2 record, the Nash Racela-mentored team dropped to 4-3 and joined the Fuelmasters in the third spot.
NLEX 110 – Lastimosa 22, Anthony 13, Alas 12, Camson 12, Guinto 11, J. Villanueva 7, E. Villanueva 7, Rios 6, Baracael 5, Lanete 4, Taulava 3, Monfort 3, Khobuntin 3, Gotladera 2.
TNT 98 – Castro 17, Tautuaa 15, Rosales 15, Fonacier 9, Reyes 7, Rosario 7, De Ocampo 7, Williams 6, Rosser 6, Carey 5, Seigle 4, Golla 0, Pogoy 0, Tamsi 0.
Quarterscores: 24-26, 52-52, 85-81, 110-98