By JONAS TERRADO
Game Today (Angeles City, Pampanga)
5 p.m. – GlobalPort vs Magnolia
BIÑAN, Laguna – NLEX made up for squandering a nine-point lead with two minutes remaining in regulation by hitting four outside shots in overtime to hold off Phoenix, 120-115, last night for its first victory in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Alonte Sports Arena here.
Alex Mallari hit a three and a long two while Larry Fonacier uncorked two triples, the last giving the Road Warriors the needed breather, 118-110, with 58.7 seconds left in the extension to barge into the win column after starting the midseason conference with three straight losses.
But NLEX had to weather a late meltdown in the fourth quarter when Phoenix erased a 102-93 deficit going into the final two minutes, forcing a five-minute extension when import James White scored a tip-in off a Jason Perkins miss with 5.1 seconds remaining in the fourth.
“We had a good lead almost throughout the game but we lost it in the last three minutes (of regulation),” said Road Warriors coach Yeng Guiao. “Of course, that’s disappointing but a win is still a win. After three losses, we have to start somewhere and just getting a win is a big relief.”
Import Arnett Moultrie scored 37 points while adding 17 rebounds, eight assists and four blocks in his third game since replacing Adrian Forbes as NLEX climbed to eighth place with a 1-3 record.
Mallari had 13 points while Fonacier added 11 as the two delivered the crucial shots for the Road Warriors in the overtime session.
NLEX 120 – Moultrie 37, Quiñahan 16, Mallari 13, Fonacier 11, Ravena 9, Miranda 8, Baguio 7, Soyud 7, Tiongson 5, Rios 4, Monfort 3, Ighalo 0.
PHOENIX 115 – Wright 31, White 18, Chan 17, Perkins 15, Revilla 9, Mendoza 8, Jazul 8, Kramer 4, Eriobu 2, Chua 2, Alolino 0, Wilson 0, Intal 0.
Quarters: 28-25, 57-43, 78-72, 104-104, 120-115 (OT).