by Jonas Terrado
NLEX bucked the ejection of coach Yeng Guiao to crush Alaska, 91-70, and revive its fading quarterfinal hopes in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
JR Quinahan and Bong Galanza scored 14 points apiece, Jansen Rios had 10 points and six rebounds and Poy Erram added nine points and 12 rebounds as NLEX improved to a tie for ninth place with idle Meralco at 3-5.
The Road Warriors moved a game behind the Columbian Dyip (4-6) for eighth despite seeing Guiao getting tossed in the second quarter for profane language.
Assistant coach Jojo Lastimosa called the shots for the duration of the match where NLEX broke loose in the second half, turning the contest into a blowout.
“We still have a little bit of life,” said Lastimosa. “Mathematically we’re still there but we still have a long road ahead.”
Jeron Teng produced 23 points but the Aces dropped their second straight to share sixth and seventh with the Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok at 3-4.
NLEX 91 – Quinahan 14, Galanza 14, Rios 10, Erram 9, Ighalo 9, Tiongson 8, Soyud 8, Tallo 8, Paniamogan 3, Porter 3, Baguio 3, Magat 2, Lao 0, Varilla 0.
Alaska 70 – Teng 23, Potts 13, Enciso 8, Thoss 6, Pascual 5, Baclao 4, Cruz 3, Banchero 3, Exciminiano 2, Galliguez 2, Ayaay 1, Andrada 0.
Quarters: 24-18, 50-36, 74-57, 91-70.