Arnett Moultrie, Juami Tiongson and Alex Mallari led a spirited comeback from a 10-point deficit as NLEX frustrated Blackwater, 93-89, despite the absence of rookie Kiefer Ravena Wednesday to revive its quarterfinals bid in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Moultrie scored 11 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter, Tiongson hit a go-ahead jumper and a key stop that set up a Mallari three-point play to complete the Road Warriors’ comeback after trailing 77-67 early in the payoff period.
NLEX improved to 2-4, winning its first match since Ravena was banned for 18 months by FIBA after testing positive for three banned substances in the previous window of the 2019 World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
Road Warriors management have decided to keep Ravena out of action until the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas secures a formal clarification from FIBA regarding his PBA status.
Returning import Henry Walker struggled in his first game for the Elite since replacing Jarrid Famous more than a week ago, scoring 12 points on 2-of-15 shooting.
NLEX 93 – Moultrie 26, Tiongson 10, Mallari 10, Fonacier 9, Rios 8, Monfort 5, Baguio 5, Marcelo 5, Soyud 5, Ighalo 5, Quinahan 3, Miranda 2.
Blackwater 89 – DiGregorio 25, Maliksi 16, Erram 14, Walker 12, Cortez 4, Belo 4, Al-Hussaini 4, Sumang 3, Palma 3, Zamar 2, Jose 2, Pinto 0.
Quarterscores: 26-18, 42-40, 67-71, 93-89.