NLEX ends skid with wild win over Kings

By: February 03,2018 - 10:09 PM
Games Today (Ynares Center, Antipolo) 4:30 p.m. – Alaska vs GlobalPort 6:45 p.m. – Magnolia vs San Miguel Beer IN a fight that was practically one for survival, NLEX found it’s A-game again and brought down a league powerhouse that had even its outspoken coach dazed somewhat. The Road Warriors rallied from 14 points down in the third period and overcame extreme disadvantage in size against Barangay Ginebra to prevail, 81-78, to snap a four-game slide and get back in the PBA Philippine Cup playoff hunt at Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay. Yeng Guiao doesn’t have an explanation as to how they came out on top of a wild finish that saw his Warriors dodge one bullet after the other before rising to 3-4 and tying their victims to be in the middle of the 12-team pack. “It was really tough. It was just sheer determination and hard work,” Guiao said. “We don’t know that we won, so please don’t ask me how we won that game.” The Warriors came into the game as the decided underdogs, what with that four-game skid and the 7-foot Greg Slaughter returning to action for Ginebra after a two-game absence, not to mention that the Kings were coming off a huge upset of defending three-time champion San Miguel Beer. The veteran Cyrus Baguio scored 11 points in the fourth and was the main reason why the Road Warriors kept a shot at winning it in the endgame. And while NLEX was practically seamless when it mattered, the Kings sputtered, lapsing into a series of bad shots and one error by Sol Mercado in checking back into the game that gave the Road Warriors a free point. Mercado failed to report to the scorer’s table in replacing Slaughter, and Larry Fonacier capped off a 17-point night by making the technical free throw for 80-78 with 4.4 seconds left. Meanwhile, the Beermen dispute the solo lead with sister team Magnolia Sunday night at Ynares Center in Antipolo, with San Miguel shooting to bounce back from that loss to Ginebra. Game time is 6:45 p.m. as the Beermen try to also snap a five-game winning streak by the Hotshots and reclaim the pace.
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