NLEX hands TNT’s first loss, Alaska rallies to beat Phoenix

The NLEX Road Warriors dished out TNT Tropang Giga’s first defeat, while the Alaska Aces used a strong fourth quarter run to defeat the Phoenix Super LPG Fuelmasters.

NLEX’s Kiefer Ravena protects the ball from two TNT defenders. (Photo from PBA)

NLEX’s Kiefer Ravena protects the ball from two TNT defenders. (Photo from PBA)

With a hard-earned 109-98 victory, the Road Warriors administered the Tropang Giga’s first loss in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup. Kevin Alas continued his fine play in the bubble as he finished with a team-high 24 markers, while Jericho Cruz chipped in 19 points.

TNT started out the game with guns ablaze. Jayson Castro went on a blistering run in the first quarter, tallying 18 points in that span alone, and helping TNT to establish an eight-point advantage at the end of the period.

But NLEX would buckle down to work by exerting more defensive effort in the second quarter. They completely erased TNT’s lead, and were up by five points entering the halftime break.

NLEX’s Kevin Alas eludes the defense of TNT’s Troy Rosario. (Photo from PBA)

NLEX’s Kevin Alas eludes the defense of TNT’s Troy Rosario. (Photo from PBA)

NLEX would maintain the lead up to the crucial stages of the game, and clutch triples from Cruz and Ravena sealed their second victory in the bubble. Castro topscored for the Tropang Giga with his 27 markers, while RR Pogoy and Ray Parks chipped in 16 and 15 points, respectively.

TNT will try to bounce back when they go up against Chris Newsome and the Meralco Bolts on Saturday.

Fourth quarter run leads Alaska to their 5th win

Alaska’s Vic Manuel tries to score against Jorey Napoles of Phoenix. (Photo from PBA)

Alaska’s Vic Manuel tries to score against Jorey Napoles of Phoenix. (Photo from PBA)

Alaska broke the game wide open in the fourth quarter and came away with a 105-97 victory over Phoenix. Vic Manuel led the charge for the Aces with 24 markers, to go along with his 7 rebounds and 3 assists.

It was Phoenix who struck first right out the gates as they opened up a 29-19 advantage in the first quarter. They would maintain a precarious four-point lead entering the payoff period, but it was then that the Aces would work their magic.

Behind Manuel, Jeron Teng and Mike Digregorio, Alaska would outscore Phoenix by 12 in regulation. The lead even went up to double digits, thanks to their excellent shooting and ball movement.

Matthew Wright led Phoenix with 27 points and 9 boards, while Calvin Abueva came off the bench to tally 18 points and 8 rebounds. The Fuelmasters go back into action on Saturday to face the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters.

SCORES

First Game

Alaska (105) – Manuel 23, Digregorio 21, Casio 13, Herndon 12, Teng 9, Brondial 8, Ayaay 6, Tratter 5, Ebona 4, Ahanmisi 3, Galliguez 0, Publico 0

Phoenix (97) – Wright 27, Abueva 18, Chua 15, Perkins 10, Jazul 9, Intal 8, Garcia 7, Marcelo 2, Heruela 1, Rios 0, Napoles 0

Second Game

NLEX (109) – Alas 24, Cruz 19, Ravena 16, Quinahan 8, Miranda 8, Ayonayon 8, Semerad 7, Mcaloney 6, Soyud 6, Varilla 5, Porter 2, Ighalo 0

TNT (98) – Castro 27, Pogoy 16, Parks 15, Enciso 11, Rosario 11, Erram 9, Reyes 7, De Leon 0, Semerad 0, Washington 0

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