MANILA, Philippines – Lester Prosper hung 50 points against NLEX as Terrafirma ended nine months of futility after pulling off a 124-114 overtime win in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Friday, November 18.
Prosper became the third import this conference to reach the half century mark and added 19 rebounds and 5 assists in a virtuoso performance to help the Dyip halt a 25-game losing streak and earn their first win of the season.
Terrafirma last won a game in February by beating Blackwater in the Governors’ Cup last season before it ended the conference with five consecutive losses.
Hobbled by injuries to a number of key players, the Dyip again went winless in 11 games in the Philippine Cup and saw their downward spiral continue this conference as they started their campaign with nine more straight defeats.
That months-long slump looked set for an extension after the Road Warriors erased a 17-point deficit and forced an extra period, 110-110, but Prosper put the beleaguered franchise on his back with 7 crucial points in overtime.
Prosper followed up an Alex Cabagnot triple with his own trey to give Terrafirma a 118-112 lead and then sank a pair of free throws to make it an eight-point cushion as he reset the franchise record for most points in a game.
Earl Clark pulled NLEX within 6 points, 114-120, only to witness Andreas Cahilig seal the win with back-to-back buckets in the final two minutes.
Juami Tiongson backstopped Prosper with a near triple-double of 18 points, 9 assists, and 8 rebounds, while Eric Camson came off the bench and provided 15 points and 5 rebounds.
Cabagnot chimed in 8 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists for the Dyip, who found consolation in the 14th straight conference they will miss the playoffs as they improved to 1-9.
Terrafirma also avoided being on the wrong side of history, with the Dyip coming close to the PBA record of 29 consecutive losses held by Blackwater.
Engaging Prosper in an intense import duel, Clark finished with 45 points, 18 rebounds, and 2 blocks, but those stellar numbers went for naught in the Road Warriors’ fifth straight defeat.
With Terrafirma finally snapping out of its funk, NLEX now holds the longest active losing streak in the PBA as it dropped to 3-7 – a massive letdown from its promising 2-0 start.
Although missing star guard Kevin Alas due to an ankle injury, the Road Warriors fought back from a 17-point hole, 54-71, and almost stole the victory in regulation, with Clark missing the game-winner in the fourth quarter.
But NLEX ran out of steam and scored just 4 points in extra time.
Don Trollano put up 26 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists in the loss, while top rookie Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser churned out 22 points and 4 rebounds.
Terrafirma 124– Prosper 50, Tiongson 18, Camson 15, Alolino 10, Cabagnot 8, Ramos 7, Munzon 5, Cahilig 4, Gomez de Liano 3, Javelona 0.
NLEX 114 – Clark 45, Trollano 26, Ganuelas-Rosser 22, Rosales 12, Nieto 9, Paniamogan 0, Celda 0, Miranda 0, Chua 0, Varilla 0.
Quarters: 40-30, 68-54, 93-85, 110-110, 124-114.