Defending champion NLEX turned back Blackwater Elite, 103-86, in a highly-physical game yesterday to notch its fifth straight win in the PBA D-League Aspirant’s Cup at the JCSGO gym in Cubao, Quezon City.
The Road Warriors were behind 67-72 at the end of the third quarter, but outscored the Elite, 36-14, in the final period through the gutsy efforts of Kevin Alas, Ola Adeogun and Garvo Lanete to complete their comeback.
Alas finished with a game-high 23 points, Adeogun posted 18 markers and 10 boards, while Lanete chipped in 17 points for NLEX, who improved to 8-1. Blackwater dropped to 6-4.
Tempers flared as both teams were given technical fouls. NLEX’s Art Dela Cruz and Pamboy Raymundo were called for technical fouls in the third, while Blackwater’s Gilbert Bulawan was assessed with a second motion infraction in the fourth for hitting Adeogun after a foul was already called.
Meantime, Jumbo Plastic held Cebuana Lhuillier to just four points in the last seven minutes to hack out an 82-70 win and finish the elims with a 10-3 record.
The defense of Jumbo Plastic was so impressive that Cebuana only managed to score with just a minute left in the game and with the match already decided by Jumbo, 76-66.
Jason Ballesteros led the Linoleum Giants with 23 points and 12 boards.
In the first game, Boracay Rum (5-6) came out smoking from the get-go as it clobbered Wangs Basketball (4-9), 90-68. (Christian Jacinto)