A timely explosion by Kevin Alas Sunday boosted NLEX right into the PBA Philippine Cup playoffs.
Alas made his first five shots, including four straight triples, in the fourth quarter and sparked the Road Warriors’ 93-90 win over the Blackwater Elite at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
In all, Alas pumped in 16 of his career-high 25 points and added a couple of rebounds, assists and even a block in the payoff period, enabling NLEX to complete its fightback from as much as an 11-point deficit and a 65-74 count heading into the final quarter.
With the likes of Cyrus Baguio, Rabeh Al-Hussaini and Keifer Ravena lending hand in the stretch, the Road Warriors were able to withstand the Elite’s endgame surge and emerge with their fourth straight win and sixth in 10 games overall
Such a record is enough to prop NLEX’s climb to fourth-running spot with its inclusion among the eight teams advancing to the quarterfinals a certainty since some of the teams immediately below it could only hope for six wins at best. Alaska, idle at 6-4, also made it through.
NLEX 93 – Alas 25, Ravena 23, Tiongson 9, Quinahan 8, Al-Hussaini 6, Mallari 5, Baguio 5, Soyud 4, Ighalo 3, Miranda 3, Fonacier 2, Taulava 0, Gotladera 0.
Blackwater 90 – Digregorio 16, Jose 14, Erram 14, Maliksi 13, Sena 12, Belo 10, Palma 6, Marcelo 5, Pinto 0.
Quarters: 23-20, 41-46, 65-74, 93-90.