NLEX steamrolls past Blackwater to boost playoff bid

MANILA, Philippines – NLEX bolstered its hunt for a playoff berth with an empathic 122-101 win over Blackwater in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Sunday, March 17.

Philip Paniamogan and Poy Erram formed a deadly one-two punch as the Road Warriors booked their second straight win to raise their record to 4-5 and improve to 7th place.

Limited to just 3 points in the first half, Paniamogan caught fire for 22 points off 4 triples in the final two quarters to help the Road Warriors enjoy a lead as large as 29 points, 84-55. 

Paniamogan also finished with 9 assists, 3 rebounds and 3 steals in 24 minutes. 

Erram, who played his first game against the Elite since he was traded in the offseason, put up 20 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks. 

Blackwater managed to trim its deficit to 9 points early in the payoff period, 86-95, but NLEX restored order and brought its lead back to 20 points with back-to-back triples from Bong Galanza, 110-90.

Galanza drilled in 6 treys to finish with 18 points on top of 2 steals while Kenneth Ighalo had 17 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists in the win. 

Allein Maliksi chalked up 20 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists but his effort was not enough as the Elite was officially eliminated from playoff contention after falling to 2-8. 

Mike Digregorio had 17 points, Abu Tratter delivered with 16 points and 12 rebounds while Paul Desiderio added 12 points in the loss. 

The Scores

NLEX 122 – Paniamogan 25, Erram 20, Galanza 18, Ighalo 17, Tiongson 13, Quinahan 8, Porter 6, Tallo 5, Soyud 4, Lao 4, Baguio 2, Taulava 0, Magat 0, Varilla 0.

Blackwater 101 – Maliksi 20, Digregorio 17, Tratter 16, Desiderio 12, Belo 11, Cortez 6, Banal 6, Dario 6, Sumang 5, Jose 2, Sena 0, Al-Husaaini 0, Javier 0,

Quarters: 23-22, 57-42, 89-72, 122-101.

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.