NLEX overpowered San Miguel in the pivotal 4th period to pull off a 103-97 victory in the Phoenix Super Basketball Tournament, Monday afternoon at the Upper Deck Gym in Pasig City.
The Road Warriors, who were down by 2 going into the final frame, unloaded 29 points compared to the Beermen’s 21 to take the opening day win over the defending Philippine Cup champions who played without main man June Mar Fajardo and Marcio Lassiter.
Incoming sophomore Kris Porter drilled a huge three-pointer with 1:17 left in the game to give the Road Warriors a 6-point advantage, 99-93, and then made a key assist to an open Kenneth Ighalo who converted on a clutch basket to make it 101-95 with the game clock down to 23 seconds.
SMB rookie Daniel de Guzman scored on a putback off a Gelo Alolino miss to cut the lead down to 4 before Kiefer Ravena drained two free throws for the final score.
JR Quinahan paced the Road Warriors with 14 points while Ravena and Bong Galanza contributed 11 markers apiece. Asi Taulava chipped in 10 points while Porter finished with 9.
Mo Tautuaa led the Beermen with 15 points while Terrence Romeo, Arwind Santos and Alex Cabagnot all scored 14.
San Miguel’s next assignment is on Wednesday, February 19 against the Phoenix Fuel Masters.
NLEX Road Warriors 103 – Quinahan 14, Galanza 11, Ravena 11, Taulava 10, Porter 9, Miranda 6, Alas 6, Soyud 6, Paniamogan 6, Baguio 5, Ayonayon 5, Ighalo 4, Erram 4, McAloney 4, Varilla 2, Fonacier 0.
San Miguel Beermen 97 – Tautuaa 15, Romeo 14, Cabagnot 14, Santos 14, Pessumal 8, Ross 7, Zamar 6, Comboy 5, De Guzman 4, Gamalinda 4, Ganuelas-Rosser 0, Mamaril 0, Alolino 0, Austria 0.
Quarterscores: 29-22, 45-45, 74-76, 103-97.