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RIZAL, Philippines – Kris Rosales saved the day for NLEX and starred in a come-from-behind 117-113 overtime win over San Miguel in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo on Wednesday, November 15.
The gutsy guard dropped 15 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter – all from beyond the arc – as the Road Warriors fought back from a 19-point hole to deny the Beermen in their conference debut.
San Miguel still led 103-96 with 2:20 minutes off a bucket by seven-time MVP June Mar Fajardo before Rosales buried three straight triples for a personal 9-2 run to force an extra period.
The last three-pointer came off a Kevin Alas assist as Rosales knotted the score at 105-105 with nine seconds remaining.
Stunned, the Beermen bungled their chance to wrap it up in regulation, with Terrence Romeo seeing his lefty layup hit only the backboard.
Import Thomas Robinson and Alas then provided the finishing touches in overtime as NLEX improved to 1-1 after opening the tournament with a loss to Phoenix.
A former top five pick in the NBA, Robinson dominated with 42 points, 20 rebounds, and 5 assists, while Alas finished with 18 points on top of 5 rebounds and 2 steals.
“My team showed a lot of character. They were very patient. They just did not stop playing,” said Road Warriors head coach Frankie Lim.
“Got to give it to Kris who made the big shots.”
Scoreless against the Fuel Masters, Rosales proved to be in his deadly form as he shot a scintillating 6-of-7 clip from three-point land.
Romeo put up 28 points and 6 assists for San Miguel, which enjoyed its biggest lead at 74-55 before it fell apart, particularly after import Ivan Aska fouled out with 6:30 minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Aska had 21 points and 9 rebounds.
CJ Perez delivered 25 points and 5 rebounds in the loss, while Fajardo turned in 22 points, 16 rebounds, 4 assists, and 4 blocks after claiming a record-extending seventh MVP plum.
Jeron Teng fired blanks in his Beermen debut, scoring just 2 points on 1-of-6 shooting in nearly 16 minutes of action.
San Miguel played without veteran guards Marcio Lassiter and Jericho Cruz and opted to sit out rookies Kyt Jimenez and Troy Mallillin.
NLEX 117 – Robinson 42, Rosales 19, Alas 18, Rodger 9, Anthony 8, Herndon 8, Nieto 4, Trollano 4, Semerad 4, Marcelo 1, Fajardo 0, Miranda 0.
San Miguel 113 – Romeo 28, Perez 25, Fajardo 22, Aska 21, Ross 6, Enciso 5, Teng 2, Tautuaa 2, Brondial 2, Tautuaa 2, Bulanadi 0.
Quarters: 24-27, 47-62, 74-82, 105-105 (reg.), 117-113 (OT).