NLEX Road Warriors survived the Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters, hacking out an 87-85 win in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Friday at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay.
The Road Warriors led by as much as 20 points, only to lose hold of it in the payoff period as Phoenix closed to within one, 85-86, with eight seconds remaining.
But NLEX still managed to win, as Jericho Cruz split his free throws and Matthew Wright missed a hurried three-point try at the buzzer.
The result thus gave the Road Warriors a positive ending to their mid-season campaign as they bowed out with a 3-8 record, winning two of their last three outings.
Olu Ashaolu shined for the Road Warriors with 17 points, 17 rebounds, five assists, and two steals. Kenneth Ighalo was the only NLEX local to finish in double figures with 14 markers, on top of two rebounds and an assist.
RJ Jazul led the Fuel Masters with 20 points spiked by three triples, along with six rebounds, five assists, and four steals. Matthew Wright supplied 16 points, seven boards, five assists, and two steals, while Alex Mallari chipped in 13 markers.
Ending the eliminations with a 4-7 record, Phoenix is in danger of not making it to the next round, as it would now need the Alaska Aces (4-6) and the Meralco Bolts (3-6) to lose all their remaining games for a shot at a playoff for the last spot.
NLEX 87 – Ashaolu 17, Ighalo 14, Quinahan 9, Paniamogan 9, Erram 7, Cruz 6, Lao 5, Tiongson 5, Fonacier 5, Taulava 4, Soyud 4, Varilla 2, Baguio 0, Galanza 0.
PHOENIX 85 – Jazul 20, Wright 16, Mallari 13, Howell 11, Intal 6, Marcelo 6, Perkins 2, Napoles 0, Wilson 0, Guevarra 0, Gamboa 0.
Quarter scores: 21-11, 45-32, 65-54, 87-85.