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Road Warriors slip past Dyip

 

By JONAS TERRADO

 

Aaron Fuller produced a double-double to begin his second tour of duty as NLEX defeated Columbian Dyip, 116-104, last night to get back on winning track in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Called to fill in for injured import Olu Ashaoulu, Fuller played as if he never missed a beat as he finished with 35 points, 21 rebounds and seven assists to help the Road Warriors bounce back from a 102-72 defeat to the Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok the previous Wednesday.

JR Quiñahan and Larry Fonacier also made the big threes late to seal NLEX’s third win in four games, a fitting conclusion to Jojo Lastimosa’s stint as interim coach.

Coach Yeng Guiao is due to return on Saturday from Jakarta coaching the national team in the Asian Games in time for NLEX match against San Miguel Beer at the same venue.

“We like our situation now,” said Lastimosa, whose team is also dealing with Kiefer Ravena’s ongoing FIBA suspension and Kevin Alas’ recovery from an ACL injury.

“We miss coach Yeng, but right now we’re doing a little bit better on our defense. That’s going to be our weapon moving forward when he comes back.”

Fuller, who led NLEX to the quarterfinals in last season’s Governors’ Cup, was consistent right from the start, helping the Road Warriors erase an 85-78 deficit in the third by outscoring Columbian, 24-4, to claim a 102-89 lead in the fourth.
Columbian got to within five twice, the last on import Akeem Wright’s triple to cut NLEX’s lead to 107-102, 3:24 left.

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