PBA Commissioner’s Cup

Clark, Alas steer NLEX in comeback win as Blackwater wastes 16-point lead

Delfin Dioquino
Clark, Alas steer NLEX in comeback win as Blackwater wastes 16-point lead

HEAVY LIFTING. Earl Clark puts up monster numbers in another NLEX victory.

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Earl Clark and Kevin Alas deliver down the stretch as NLEX improves to 2-0 before new head coach Frankie Lim officially takes over

MANILA, Philippines – NLEX put the shackles on Blackwater in the endgame to hack out a come-from-behind 105-102 win in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Friday, September 30.

Earl Clark showed the way with 38 points, 25 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 blocks as the Road Warriors overhauled a 16-point deficit to improve to 2-0 before new head coach Frankie Lim officially takes over at the NLEX helm.

Kevin Alas backstopped Clark with 16 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists, igniting the late fourth-quarter run the Road Warriors used to deny the Bossing back-to-back wins.

Blackwater led 97-90 with less than four minutes left before Alas scored 5 points and dished out a pair of assists in a blistering 14-0 run that turned the tides for NLEX.

Alas drained a jumper to pull the Road Warriors within 3 points, 94-97, assisted Justin Chua for the game-tying triple, and converted the go-ahead layup before Clark and Matt Nieto sank key buckets that padded their lead.

Don Trollano finished with 18 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists in the win, while Nieto added 10 points and 6 rebounds off the bench.

Chua chimed in 9 points and 5 rebounds for NLEX, which aced its two-game start despite the abrupt exit of former head coach Yeng Guiao during the break.

Import Cameron Krutwig flirted with a triple-double after posting 18 points, 14 rebounds, 8 assists, and 2 steals only to witness the Bossing return to their losing ways after snapping a seven-game skid the last time out.

Outscored 21-33 in the fourth quarter, Blackwater slipped to 1-2.

Baser Amer eclipsed his 24-point outing in their win over Phoenix with 26 points against the Road Warriors, but saw his finest performance in a Bossing uniform go down the drain in another loss.

Top rookie Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser, who got acquired by NLEX from Blackwater through a three-team trade, put up just 4 points and 2 rebounds in 20 minutes against his former squad.

The Scores

NLEX 105 – Clark 38, Trollano 18, Alas 16, Nieto 10, Chua 9, Rosales 5, Ganuelas-Rosser 4, Miranda 3, Varilla 2, Ighalo 0.

Blackwater 102 – Amer 26, Krutwig 18, McCarthy 17, Ular 10, Banal 9, Taha 7, Jackson 5, Suerte 5, Rosario 3, Go 2, Ebona 0, Sena 0.

Quarters: 20-26, 45-56, 72-81, 105-102.

– Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.