The NLEX Road Warriors continued their immaculate start to the Oppo PBA Governors’ Cup, fending off the Phoenix Fuel Masters, 95-91, to extend their win streak to four games on Sunday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
Import Aaron Fuller carried NLEX anew, scoring 18 points and 24 boards as the Road Warriors, who struggled in this season’s first two conferences, maintained their spot on top of the team standings.
The former cellar-dwellers also enjoyed a huge fourth quarter from Carlo Lastimosa who scored 11 of his 14 points in the payoff period. Alex Mallari added 14 markers, including the dagger triple that sealed the win for the Road Warriors.
NLEX trailed by eight points in the fourth frame, 78-70, but was able to come back behind Lastimosa’s big game.
With the game tied at 82-all, the Road Warriors went on a 7-3 spurt capped by a Lastimosa jumper with 2:17 remaining.
Doug Kramer pulled Phoenix to within three points, 90-87, with 55 seconds left. But Mallari knocked down a crucial triple with 13 ticks left to secure the win for the Road Warriors.
Eugene Phelps finished with 31 points and 18 rebounds while Matthew Wright chipped in 17 markers for the Fuel Masters who dropped their second straight game to settle for a 2-2 card.
NLEX 95 – Fuller 18, Mallari 14, Lastimosa 14, Alas 13, Quinahan 10, Fonacier 5, Monfort 4, Soyud 4, Tiongson 4, Taulava 4, Rios 3, Baracael 2, J. Villanueva 0, Al-Hussaini 0, Ighalo 0.
PHOENIX 91 – Phelps 31, Wright 17, Baguio 8, Jazul 8, Dehesa 8, Eriobu 7, Kramer 4, Intal 4, Lanete 4, W. Wilson 0, Alolino 0, Borboran 0.
Quarters: 14-15, 39-43, 64-69, 95-91.