PBA: Fonacier saves NLEX from San Miguel

Paul Lintag, ABS-CBN Sports

Posted at Aug 27 2017 09:37 PM | Updated as of Aug 27 2017 10:05 PM

Larry Fonacier, still clutch. Richard Esguerra, ABS-CBN Sports

MANILA -- (UPDATED) Larry Fonacier sure likes burning San Miguel.

The veteran shooter nailed two clutch triples in the end game as the NLEX Road Warriors escaped the Beermen, 103-100, in the PBA Governors' Cup Sunday at the Big Dome.

Tied at 95, Fonacier drilled a booming triple to give NLEX the lead with 1:49 to go. With 23 seconds remaining, Larry hit another three as the Road Warriors took a four-point lead, 101-97.

For good measure, Fonacier even played tremendous defense on Alex Cabagnot in the game's final possession, denying San Miguel of a chance for a decent shot at a tie.

The performance was eerily similar to the last time Fonacier faced the Beermen back in May 5 during the Commissioner's Cup when he also hit two clutch triples that allowed TNT KaTropa to beat San Miguel.

That turned out to be his final game for TNT as he was acquired by NLEX via trade a day after.

"Parang mahirap pa makapaniwala na natalo namin 'yung San Miguel in a tight game. We are developing some maturity and composure in the end game," head coach Yeng Guiao said as the Road Warriors improved to 6-2 for the conference.

"It's a good sign for us but we will enjoy this, winning against a strong team. The more important thing is we got our sixth win which in our calculation makes us clinch the quarterfinals," he added.

NLEX came out hot and opened with a 15-point lead right in the first quarter, 25-10. However, the lead was quickly erased as the Beermen responded with a 14-0 run.

The Road Warriors recovered and controlled the game for most of the second half until San Miguel made it a game, setting up Fonacier's heroics in the clutch.

Import Aaron Fuller was at the front of NLEX's attack, finishing with 26 points and 22 rebounds. JR Quinahan added 17 points and 10 boards off the bench.

Fonacier was good for 16 in a starting role.

Playing their second game in three days, the Beermen got 28 points, 14 rebounds, and six assists from Wendell McKines. However, San Miguel dropped to 3-2.

Arwind Santos, Marcio Lassiter, and Alex Cabagnot all dropped 19 for the Beermen.

The scores:

NLEX 103 - Fuller 26, Quiñahan 17, Fonacier 16, Mallari 10, Tiongson 8, Alas 7, Soyud 7, Baguio 5, J. Villanueva 3, Lastimosa 2, Al-Hussaini 2, Taulava 0.

SAN MIGUEL 100 - McKines 28, Lassiter 19, Santos 19, Cabagnot 19, Fajardo 6, Ross 4, Ganuelas-Rosser 2, Espinas 2, Heruela 1, Tubid 0.

Quarter scores: 25-24, 48-39, 68-70, 103-100.

This story was originally published on the ABS-CBN Sports website.