The NLEX Road Warriors won 110-105 eliminating the GlobalPort Batang Pier in the race for a playoff berth of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner’s Cup 2016 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Friday.
The Road Warriors immediately dominated the game by establishing a 16-point lead, 35-19, following a series of shots from beyond the arc.
In the second period, the Batang Pier managed to reduce the deficit to just five points through a triple by Jeric Fortuna. But NLEX resumed its onslaught resulting in a 58-49 advantage before the break.
GlobalPort attempted to gain the upper hand anew going into the third quarter reducing NLEX’s edge to just four points, 78-74.
But NLEX proved too strong for Batang Pier in the final minutes of the game eventually notching their fifth win in the Commissioner’s Cup.
Al Thornton led NLEX with 33 points and 19 rebounds while Sean Anthony and Kevin Alas contributed 21 and 18 points, respectively.
In the first game, the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters defeated the Phoenix Fuelmasters, 109-104.
The Elasto Painters relied on Jeff Chan’s 25-points to survive the late-game rally of the Fuelmasters improving their win-loss record to 5-4.
After a 27-27 deadlock in the first canto, the Elasto Painters gained momentum at the start of second period with Chan sinking a three-point shot at the 9:39 mark giving his team a 34-29 advantage.
Rain or Shine sustained their offensive resulting in a 54-45 lead going into the halftime break.
But the Fuelmasters returned with renewed vigor in the third quarter brining the score to 77-76.
Rain or Shine grabbed the lead, 92-86, with just 6:15 left in the clock with a trey courtesy of Chris Tiu.
The Fuelmasters refused to go down without a fight as veteran guard Chico Lanete blasted through their rivals’ defense for a breakaway layup resulting in a 102-101 edge for his crew.
Phoenix’s momentum was derailed after an offensive interference call was given to import Kevin Pinkney. With Pinkney’s basket cancelled out in the dying seconds of the contest, Rain or Shine succeeded in posting their fifth victory in the conference.
ROS import Mo Charlo finished with 17 points, six rebounds and four assists while Jericho Cruz added 16 points and four assists.
Big man Raymond Almazan delivered an impressive performance off the bench with 10 markers and 12 boards.
“It was a hard struggle. At the same time it’s nice to be back from vacation and suspension. The last minutes were exciting,” Rain or Shine head coach Yeng Guiao said in the post-match interview.
He said that they now aim to clinch the sixth spot going into the playoffs.
Guiao attributed their win to luck.
“I felt it was a goal tending [violation]but I was still in doubt whether the referees will call it in the review or if there was enough time for us to make a play, but we got lucky,” he concluded.
RAIN OR SHINE 109 – Chan 25, Charlo 17, Cruz 16, Almazan 10, Quinahan 8, Trollano 6, Belga 5, Norwood 5, Tiu 5, Ponferada 4, Ahanmisi 3, Lee 3, Nimes 2, Ibanes 0.
PHOENIX 104 – Wilson 21, Garcia 20, Pinkney 20, Lanete 13, Intal 11, Baracael 8, Brondial 4, Monfort 4, Urbiztondo 3, Pennisi 0.
Quarters: 27-27, 54-45, 77-76, 109-104
NLEX 110 – Thornton 33, Anthony 21, Alas 18, Taulava 13, Lanete 11, Villanueva J. 11, Enciso 3, Borboran 0, Cardona 0, Khobuntin 0, Villanueva E. 0, Reyes 0.
GLOBALPORT 105 – Romeo 27, Taggart 22, Pringle 11, Taha 9, Washington 9, Kramer 8, Fortuna 7, Maierhofer 5, Jensen 4, Mamaril 3, Uyloan 0, Yeo 0.
Quarters: 35-19, 58-49, 78-74, 110-105