Northern Luzon Expressway (NLEX) nullified a 28-point deficit to escape Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 113-111, in overtime on Sunday in Season 44 Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup at the Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Kiefer Ravena’s buzzer-beating triple brought the game to an extension period with the score tied at 103-all. Jericho Cruz stepped up in overtime to lead the Road Warriors to victory. NLEX lost to San Miguel Beer, 74-78, on Saturday also in Dubai.
Cruz notched five of his 13 points in overtime, including the go-ahead triple that allowed NLEX to grab the lead, 113-111, with a few seconds remaining. LA Tenorio, Japeth Aguilar and Stanley Pringle missed their shots, allowing the Road Warriors to escape.
“We got lucky. But you get lucky when you work hard, when you don’t give up,” said NLEX coach Yeng Guiao in a statement released via the PBA website. “From the first half, I think we were behind by 28 points, then losing our import before overtime. It is one of those games you’ll remember for a long time.”
NLEX import Olu Ashaolu fouled out with a few minutes left in regulation. Ashaolu still finished with an impressive 25 points and seven rebounds. JP Erram also had a prolific output of 21 points, five rebounds, two steals and two blocks.
Philip Paniamogan contributed 20 points, Ravena scattered 13 points, 17 assists and seven rebounds while Cruz had 13 points also for NLEX.
Import Justin Brownlee led the Gin Kings with a triple-double of 42 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists while Greg Slaughter and Pringle scored 19 points each.
Ginebra’s win-loss record dropped to 1-2.