The NLEX Road Warriors finally tasted a victory, beating the Alaska Aces, 100-92, to notch their first win in the Oppo PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Wednesday at SMART-Araneta Coliseum.
The win put an end to NLEX’s long run of futility: a nine-game losing streak this conference and a 13-game skid dating back to the Philippine Cup.
The Road Warriors had to climb back from a 20-point deficit in the first quarter. NLEX used a strong 21-3 run in the second quarter to erase Alaska’s lead, with an Emman Monfort go-ahead triple giving the Road Warriors a 51-48 halftime edge.
NLEX was able to stand its ground in a close fourth quarter against Alaska despite import Wayne Chism fouling out with over five minutes left in the game.
The Road Warriors’ locals stepped up big time in the closing seconds. Kevin Alas buried a triple, then Rabeh Al-Hussaini sank two free throws to give NLEX a 91-87 lead with 2:21 left–a cushion they maintained for the rest of the way.
Chism top-scored for NLEX with 22 points and six boards. JR Quinahan and Juami Tiongson also contributed 16 apiece, while Kevin Alas added 11 markers.
Alaska, which suffered its fifth straight loss for a 4-5 card, was led by Cory Jefferson’s 36 points and 20 rebounds.