NLEX wins franchise-first 4th straight at Globalport's expense
MANILA, Philippines - The NLEX Road Warriors broke the game open in the payoff period and went on to rout Globalport Batang Pier, 94-81, for a franchise-first 4-game winning streak in the 2015 PBA Commissioner's Cup on Sunday, March 15 at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Niño Canaleta led all scorers with 29 points built on 6 triples, 5 of which came in the second half.
His three-pointer with just under 2 minutes to go put the game out of reach for Globalport, 89-74, as he capped off a 14-point fourth quarter flurry.
"Come to think of it that guy proves that it's not only his offense. I think his defense is also there already," said head coach Boyet Fernandez, who admitted just two games ago that the sharp-shooter still needed work on his defense.
Import Al Thornton finished with just 19 points after dropping a career-high 50 in a come-from-behind win over Ginebra 4 days ago.
Thornton was checked all game long and scored just 5 points in the first half. He added 10 rebounds to his name, plus a breakaway jam that gave NLEX an 84-68 edge midway in the final frame.
"They doubled Al (Thornton). Even though Thornton scored 50 points last game I told the locals it's time to step up," Fernandez said.
Aldrech Ramos contributed 14 points and 4 rebounds, while Asi Taulava had 8 points and 11 boards.
The Road Warriors, who converted 22 points off of the Batang Pier's 16 miscues, overtook Globalport and Ginebra in the standings with their 5-4 slate.
Globalport, which fell to 4-5, missed the services of rookie Stanley Pringle due to a sprained ankle.
"We're just lucky that Pringle is injured. We won this game because Globalport had one guy injured," Fernandez said. "But I still give credit to Globalport for making this game hard for us."
New import Derrick Caracter looked on pace for an impressive debut after replacing Calvin Warner with his 20 first half points. But he want silent in the crucial second half and finished with 27 points and 14 rebounds.
Warner left the team as he had to attend to personal matters.
Terrence Romeo and Anthony Semerad registered 19 and 12 markers, respectively, for the Batang Pier, which lost despite out-rebounding their foes 52-46.
"For us it's always the boys working hard in practice. The way we practice is the way we have to play the game," Fernandez said of how his team continued its winning way.
"I told the boys, the effort that you show in practice, if you bring that to the game you have a good chance of winning." - Rappler.com