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PBA: NLEX strikes

Prince Rivero
Prince Rivero of Rain or Shine and Philip Paniamogan of NLEX in action.

NLEX keeps getting better and better in the bubble.

After shocking league-leading Talk N Text, NLEX added Rain or Shine to its growing list of victims in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Foundation (AUF) Sports Center in Pampanga.

Jericho Cruz scored 12 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter as the Road Warriors pulled the rug from under the second-running Elasto Painters, 94-74, to stay in the hunt for the quarterfinals berth with their third win in eight matches.

NLEX coach Yeng Guiao was proud of the Road Warriors’ efforts against Talk N Text, which they beat 109-98, and now, Rain or Shine.

One of the big developments for us is we’re just getting in better shape,” said Guiao after the team’s first back-to-back wins in the bubble.

When we started, we’re still not in good shape and our defense was lousy. But the last few games, our fitness translated to extra energy in defense,”added Guiao.

I don’t think you can beat teams like Talk N Text and Rain or Shine if you’re not up to defense.

Guiao said NLEX also changed its mental approach after a 1-5 start, adapting a “nothing-to-lose” mantra.

I really want to take the pressure off the players. Sabi ko ang gusto lang natin gawin is parang nasa training camp tayo. Magpa-kundisyon, learn every day. If we’re doing it right, we’ll win, if we’re doing it wrong, we’ll just go back to practice and correct them,” explained Guiao.

In the second game, Meralco relied on Chris Newsome and Bong Quinto to subdue Blackwater, 89-85, and keep its hopes alive with its fourth win against three losses.

Newsome finished with 19 points, including five straight points in the closing minutes.

Our goal was to put ourselves in a position to make the playoffs. That’s what we are trying to accomplish,” said Meralco coach Norman Black

The scores

First game

NLEX (94) — Alas 18, Cruz 17, Quinahan 13, Soyud 9, Miranda 8, Ravena 7, Semerad 7, Paniamogan 5, Galanza 5, Varilla 3, McAloney 2, Ayonayon 0. Rain or Shine (74) — Nambatac 15, Ponferada 10, Norwood 7, Rivero 7, Rosales 7, Torres 7, Belga 7, Mocon 5, Borboran 5, Wong 3, Onwubere 1, Tolentino 0, Yap 0, Doliguez 0, Arana 0.

Quarterscores: 24-18, 42-39, 64-57, 94-74.

Second game

Meralco (89) — Newsome 19, Hugnatan 14, Quinto 14, Hodge 11, Maliksi 10, Almazan 7, Salva 4, Black 4, Amer 4, Jamito 2, Pinto 0, Jackson 0. Blackwater (85) — Trollano 16 , Sumang 15, Escoto 13, Tolomia 10, Canaleta 8, Golla 5, Daquioag 6, Dennison 4, Belo 4, Magat 4, Salem 0, Gabriel 0.

Quarterscores: 25-15; 44-36; 66-59; 89-85.

Publication Source :    People's Tonight
Ed Andaya
Sports Editor - People's Tonight