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NLEX triumphs

Games Tomorrow (Ynares Arena, Pasig City)
12 n.n. – NLEX vs Big Chill
2 p.m. – Blackwater Sports vs Café France

Manila, Philippines – Ronald Pascual made a clutch 3-point shot and the Road Warriors outplayed the Cebuana Lhuillier Gems in the stretch for a 76-68 victory on Tuesday in the PBA D-League Foundation Cup at the JCSGO Gym in Cubao, Quezon City.

NLEX held a shaky one-point lead when Ronald Pascual hit his second trey of the game with 3:42 remaining as the Road Warriors closed the fourth quarter with a 13-6 run.

It was the eighth straight win for the Road Warriors, who are already assured of an outright semifinal berth.

Big Chill roared to a big lead early then withstood a ferocious second half charge by the Jumbo Plastic Giants and the Superchargers got away with a crucial 50-46 victory in the second game.

“I challenged the players to step up in this game because this is a must-win for us. We need a victory to stay contention for playoff berth,” Big Chill coach Robert Sison. “I’m really glad they responded well to my call.”

Mar Villahermosa scored 13 of his game-high 19 points in the fourth quarter as he single-handedly carried the fight for Superchargers when the Giants appeared poised to take control.

Big Chill bounced back from a 76-77 loss Derulo Accelero on Monday bolster their chances of making the quarterfinal round. The Superchargers close out their eliminations round assignment against league leader NLEX on Thursday.

The league’s five-time champions appeared rusty coming off a 10-day break. They were visibly out of game shape and struggled to find their rhythm all game long.

“We have achieved our goal so I gave the players some rest. I thought they deserve it. But a win is a win,” said NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez.