The NLEX Road Warriors built on a fine shooting display in the second quarter to defeat Blackwater Sports, 60-45, Monday in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
The Road Warriors outscored the Elite, 21-5, in the second period after an 11-11 tie at the start thanks to a 50 percent shooting clip from the field to pull away in the game.
NLEX continued its unbeaten slate that now runs up to eight games in its penultimate campaign in the elimination round. The Road Warriors go for the sweep, a first in the league, on May 24 against Boracay Rum.
Blackwater’s defeat brought its record to 4-3 hurting, its chances of an outright semifinal slot, with Big Chill and Cebuana Lhuillier occupying the second spot with 5-2.
Garvo Lanete had 14 points while Calvin Abueva marked his return to the Road Warriors’ fold after a training stint in the United States with the San Sebastian Stags by scoring 12 points.
NLEX’s lead was at its highest when Borgie Hermida converted a pull-up jumper, 60-40, with two minutes in the game.
In the second game, Café France overcame the Cagayan Rising Suns, 88-80, to win its second game in a row, enhancing its chances of clinching a quarterfinal berth.
The Bakers held off Cagayan with a 14-8 finish after the Rising Suns came to within two points, 72-74, with five minutes to play in the game.
Kevin Racal had 19 points while Jason Deutchman had 13 points and 10 rebounds in his debut with Café France, which improved to 3-4 for sixth place in the standings and half-a-game ahead of idle Boracay Rum and Erase Plantcenta (2-4).
Jopher Custodio had a game-high 32 points but that didn’t stop Cagayan from falling to an 0-8 record.
» Returning Greg Slaughter helps lift NLEX past EA Regens Med to clinch D-League top seed
» Fruitas tops Cafe France to keep outright D-League semis hopes alive; Blackwater defeats Hog’s Breath
» D-League: Cagayan, Big Chill pick up wins over Boracay Rum, Cebuana