NLEX snapped a four-game skid the hard way by rallying from a 14-point deficit in the third quarter to frustrate Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 81-78, Saturday in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome.
JR Quinahan, Larry Fonacier, Cyrus Baguio and Alex Mallari carried NLEX back after falling behind 50-36 with 10:05 to play in the third before getting a lucky break from a Greg Slaughter miss from the foul line to give the Road Warriors their first victory in the calendar year.
Fonacier scored 17 points, Baguio scored all 13 points in the second half and Quinahan added 14 points, including a follow-up that gave NLEX a 79-77 lead with less than two minutes left in the Petron Saturday Special contest.
NLEX improved to 3-4, tying Ginebra and Phoenix in a three-way tie for seventh.
“We just put on an effort and sheer determination and some breaks in the endgame,” said NLEX coach Yeng Guiao. “The important thing for us is we break our losing streak and we give ourselves a chance to be in the fight.”
NLEX 81 – Fonacier 17, Quinahan 14, Baguio 13, Mallari 11, Ravena 7, Taulava 5, Tiongson 4, Alas 4, Soyud 2, Miranda 2, Ighalo 2, Uyloan 0.
BRGY. GINEBRA 78 – Aguilar J. 21, Tenorio 12, Aguilar R. 9, Slaughter 9, Thompson 8, Cruz 8, Ferrer 6, Mercado 5, Caguioa 0, Taha 0.
Quarter scores: 19-20, 35-43, 55-59, 81-78.