Road Warriors bring down Bolts, move up to second

August 13, 2017

NLEX outworked and outfought Meralco in a tough duel, carving out a 100-94 decision to grab second place behind Star at the resumption of the PBA Governors Cup at the MOA Arena in Pasay City Sunday night.

The Road Warriors dominated the boards and scored numerous baskets off offensive rebounds to highlight a crucial closing salvo that got them back on track after a loss to the Barangay Ginebra Kings the last time out.

Aaron Fuller delivered 25 points and 18 rebounds while Kevin Alas, Larry Fonacier and JR Quinahan came through with double-digit outputs off the bench as the Road Warriors moved up to second place behind Star (3-0) at 5-1 card while dropping Meralco to third at 4-1.

“Meralco is a good team especially in import-laden conference. They’re a good test and we passed a difficult test tonight,” said NLEX coach Yeng Guiao.

For the fiery NLEX bench chieftain, the biggest key was challenging Meralco’s dreaded defense.

“As good as Meralco was on defense, we’re able to execute. We’re getting to the basket and we’re getting to the line. The good formula to beat a good defense is to keep attacking them,” said Guiao.

The Road Warriors fought relentlessly and brought the Bolts down with a decisive 10-to-nothing roll inside the last four minutes of the game.

NLEX surged ahead, 93-86, on that attack by Alas, Fonacier and Quinahan, and the Road Warriors never looked back from there.

The Road Warriors were down by three at 83-86 before closing out the game with a 17-8 flurry.

Still, Guiao was wondering if they’re resurgence in the tourney is for real.

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“We have veterans. But as a team, we still need to mature. But we’re seeing signs of that maturity,” he said.

Alas top scored among the NLEX locals with 21 points while Fonacier and Quinahan added 16 and 10, respectively.

Also a key was Fuller holding his own against Allen Durham who was limited to 26 points and 14 rebounds – poor by his standard.

Reynel Hugnatan came up with 25 points and nine rebounds but was controlled by the Road Warriors at crunch time. (SB)