NLEX Road Warriors 96 – Alaska Aces 89
The NLEX Road Warriors survived a furious Alaska Aces rally in the fourth quarter to win their third straight game and end Alaska’s six-game win streak.
The Aces took a slim lead early in the game. They led by three points midway through the first quarter after a jumper by Sonny Thoss. The Road Warriors responded by going on a 17-3 run to take a double-digit lead. It was a total team effort by NLEX as several players got on board during the run. Larry Fonacier, JR Quinahan, Kiefer Ravena, Raul Soyud and Kevin Alas all put up points to help their team pull away.
NLEX looked good all throughout the game. They were piling on points and shutting down the Alaska offense with their active defensive effort. Nothing was going right for Alaska as NLEX built-up a 30-point lead early in the fourth period. The game was a blowout and the Road Warriors were well on their way to an easy win. But Alaska has proven that nothing comes easy when you’re up against them.
The Aces went on a searing 19-0 to cut the lead down to just 11 points. Alaska used their full-court pressure defense to force turnover after turnover and convert easy baskets on the other end. NLEX finally got on the board after being scoreless for nearly six minutes. But the Aces were already rolling. Calvin Abueva and Vic Manuel ganged up to score points in the paint. Carl Bryan Cruz scored on a basket inside to cut the lead to two points. But that was the closest Alaska would get. Alas, Ravena and Fonacier all sank clutch free throws to secure the win.
Barangay Ginebra 93 – TNT KaTropa 78
The Ginebra Big Three came up big to take down the TNT KaTropa in the fourth quarter. Barangay Ginebra wins their fifth game against four losses. They hand TNT their fifth loss in nine games.
The game was a tight affair for three quarters. Greg Slaughter, LA Tenorio and Japeth Aguilar were playing well for Ginebra but their baskets were being answered by Jayson Castro, RR Pogoy and Kelly Williams. Mo Tautuaa gave TNT a two-point lead early in the fourth quarter with a jumper. Ginebra immediately responded with a big three-pointer from Kevin Ferrer to get the lead back. That trey started an 8-0 run for Ginebra as they took a six-point lead before TNT could answer with a basket. Tenorio, Slaughter and Aguilar then combined to score the next 14 points of Ginebra as they pulled away for good, taking a double-digit lead with two minutes left in the game.
Tenorio was excellent all game long. He balanced his playmaking with his scoring, leading the team in both categories. He scored 27 points and dished out 11 assists. Slaughter and Aguilar were dominant in the paint with 20 and 25 points respectively. The two also combined for 20 rebounds and four blocks. Ginebra scored at an efficient 48% clip and hit seven treys at a clean 58% rate. The KaTropa struggled with their outside shot, hitting only four shots in 24 attempts. Without their outside shooting, they couldn’t match Ginebra’s production in the paint.