NLEX bounces back, deals Meralco first loss

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PBA Media Bureau

The NLEX Road Warriors unleashed a late run to turn back the Meralco Bolts, 100-94, and get back on the winning track in the Oppo PBA Governors’ Cup Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.

The Road Warriors, who trailed by as many as 12 points, dropped a 10-0 bomb in the fourth period to deal the first loss of the erstwhile unbeaten Bolts and bounce back from a defeat against Barangay Ginebra last week that derailed NLEX’s 4-0 start.

Now with a 5-1 card, the Road Warriors is now in second place as the Bolts settled for third with a 4-1 card.

Aaron Fuller tallied 25 points and 18 boards as Kevin Alas had 21 points, four rebounds and four assists.

Larry Fonacier added 16 markers and seven boards while JR Quinahan chipped in 10 points and six boards.

NLEX’s slow start allowed Meralco to get off to a 21-9 lead in the first period. But the Road Warriors didn’t allow the Bolts to break the game wide open in their favor.

The game went down to the wire in the fourth quarter. After a Jared Dillinger triple gave Meralco an 86-83 lead, Alas, Fonacier and Quinahan combined for 10 unanswered points to hand NLEX a 93-86 lead with 2:10 left.

Baser Amer’s triples kept the Bolts in the game, but time wasn’t on their side to complete a comeback.

Allen Durham finished with 26 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Bolts.

The scores:

NLEX 100 – Fuller 25, Alas 21, Fonacier 16, Quinahan 10, Mallari 8, Soyud 5, Lastimosa 5, Tiongson 3, Al-Hussaini 2, Ighalo 2, Taulava 2, Rios 1, J. Villanueva 0.

MERALCO 94 – Durham 26, Hugnatan 25, Amer 14, Sedurifa 9, Dillinger 8, Nabong 7, Newsome 5, Lanete 0, Caram 0, Chua 0, Tolomia 0.

Quarters: 16-24, 41-44, 63-64, 100-94.