Matt Ganuelas of NLEX goes up for a shot against the defense of Jason Melano and Kenneth Ighalo of Cagayan Valley. Photo by Nuki Sabio, PBA D-League Images.
MANILA, Philippines -- NLEX used a strong first quarter attack to stop a surging Cagayan Valley side, 83-74, and extend its win streak to five in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the JCSGO gym in Cubao, Quezon City yesterday.
Garvo Lanete and Kevin Alas combined for all but six of NLEX’s 29 points in the first 10 minutes as the Road Warriors took an 11-point lead, slowed down in the second quarter but dominated the second half to halt the Rising Suns’ two-game run and remain as the only unbeaten team in the season-ending conference.
Lanete finished with 22 points while Alas added 14 markers to power the five-time champion Road Warriors to their second straight victory under interim coach Mon Celis.
“We started out well but the boys relaxed a bit in the second period. We were outhustled. That’s why they got a dressing down at the halftime break and poured it all out in the second half,” said Celis.
In other games, Blackwater Sports turned to Allan Mangahas and Mark Cruz in the fourth quarter to repulse Derulo Accelero, 96-93, while Jumbo Plastic turned back Hog’s Breath Café, 73-63.
Mangahas and Cruz combined for 20 points in the last 10 minutes as the Elite bucked a slow start to post their second straight win after a 0-2 start. Mangahas wound up with 18 points while Cruz had 14 markers.
Blackwater Sports played catch-up in the third period and trailed by as many as 10 points but regrouped in time to avoid absorbing embarrassing loss from the winless Oilers, who dropped to 0-5.
The Elite used a 12-0 run to turn a 77-68 deficit into an 80-77 lead. A four-point play by Cruz off a foul by Jiovanni Jalalon made it, 89-83, for Blackwater with 2:12 remaining.