The NLEX Road Warriors got off to a rousing start to their Oppo PBA Governors’ Cup campaign as they improved to 2-0 early in the tournament after a 100-93 win over Kia Picanto on Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Import Aaron Fuller delivered once again for NLEX, scoring 24 points and 19 rebounds as the Road Warriors, who beat Alaska last Wednesday on opening day, already matched their total number of wins last conference.
Kevin Alas and Carlo Lastimosa also scored 13 points apiece to help the Road Warriors who overcame a late collapse, coach Yeng Guiao’s ejection and Kia’s late rally.
NLEX zoomed to a 36-18 lead after the first 12 minutes of action thanks to a 13-point explosion by Lastimosa in the opening frame.
The Road Warriors went on to dominate the game, increasing their lead to as big as 27 points, 78-51, early in the third quarter.
But Kia woke up and ended the third quarter with a 15-3 run to close the gap to 13, 83-70, entering the final quarter.
As Picanto kept on trimming their deficit, NLEX suffered a huge blow as Guiao was ejected after being slapped with two technicals in just less than a minute.
But the Road Warriors were able to maintain their poise and hold off Kia en route to the victory.
The Picanto, who dropped their second straight game, were led by Markeith Cummings who tallied 30 points and 15 rebounds.