Sep 23, 2022

Road Warriors get past coach Yeng Guiao, E-Painters

WHLE still awaiting the formal entry of their new coach, the NLEX Road Warriors got the job done under interim coach Adonis Tierra, tripping former mentor Yeng Guiao and his Rain or Shine team, 96-90, at the PhilSports Arena Friday.

Earl Clark was a huge factor with his all-around game marked by 26 points, 14 rebounds, six blocks, four assists and the same number of steals as the Road Warriors got off to a triumph PBA Commissioner's Cup start.

New coach Frankie Lim finally takes over Saturday, having just one day to prepare against the Meralco Bolts for their Sunday tiff at the MOA Arena.

Tierra, a former head coach with the defunct Sta. Lucia team, was thankful to the management and the players, saying full support and cooperation led to their victory over the Elasto Painters.

"Mahirap para sa akin at mahirap din para sa mga players and the whole team because of the changes. Maraming gabing hindi ako nakatulog," said Tierra.

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The Road Warriors actually struggled for just 36 points in the first half but cranked up and exploded for 60 as against the E-Painters' 48 in the second half.

A slammed follow-up shot by Clark, a first-round draft selection by the Phoenix Suns in 2009, all but sealed the outcome of the game at 91-77 with a little over two minutes left to play.

Justin Chua put up 18 points and eight rebounds, Kevin Alas contributed 15 markers including four three-pointers while Don Trollano and Matt Nieto chipped in 12 apiece as NLEX wiped out a 12-point deficit then led by as many as 14 before eventually stealing the game.

Steve Taylor Jr. had 21 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Elasto Painters, with Rey Nambatac and Mike Nieto adding 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Clark came through with an efficient performance even as he drew three quick fouls.
"I just tried to be aggressive and I tried to adjust after getting those fouls," said Clark.

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"I'm an all-around player and I know how to get my teammates involved. They're great players," he added.(SB)

The Scores:

NLEX 96 - Clark 26, Chua 18, Alas 15, Trollano 12, Nieto 12, Varilla 4, Ganuelas-Rosser 4, Miranda 3, Magat 2, Rosales 0, Fonacier 0, Ighalo 0.

Rain or Shine 90 - Taylor Jr. 21, Nambatac 11, Nieto 10, Caracut 9, Ponferrada 8, Asistio 7, Demusis 6, Belga 5, Ildefonso 4, Santillan 4, Borboran 3, Norwood 2, Mamuyac 0, Torres 0.

Quarters: 15-24, 36-42, 67-66, 96-90.