NLEX Road Warriors is finally on the board in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, putting to naught a gallant stand by the Meralco Bolts, 100-91, at the Mall of Asia Arena Wednesday evening.
Winless through six games, the Road Warriors chalked up their first win on their seventh try, improving to 1-6 in the team standings while sending the Bolts, who fell to 3-5, to its third straight loss.
NLEX led by as many as 23 points in the third quarter before nearly losing all of it in the fourth period as NLEX pulled to within four poins.
Luckily, the Road Warriors had enough to hold off Meralco for the victory as Tony Mitchell scored on a dunk and JR Quiñahan hit a short stab to counter opponents’ furious rally.
Mitchell registered 32 points, 20 rebounds and four assists in 37 minutes of action while new acquisition Jericho Cruz came up with 16 points, six assists, three rebounds, and a steal coming off the bench. Bong Galanza chipped in 13 markers.
Returning import Gani Lawal had 15 points and 14 rebounds for the Bolts, while Nico Salva and Chris Newsome added 14 points each.
NLEX 100 – Mitchell 32, Cruz 16, Galanza 13, Paniamogan 8, Quiñahan 7, Erram 7, Ighalo 6, Varilla 4, Lao 4, Tiongson 3, Paredes 0, Soyud 0.
MERALCO 91 – Lawal 15, Newsome 14, Salva 14, Amer 13, Canaleta 10, Jackson 6, Pinto 6, Almazan 5, Caram 4, Faundo 2, Hodge 2, Hugnatan 0, Quinto 0.
Quarter scores: 27-25, 56-49, 85-70, 100-91.