The NLEX Road Warriors secured their third win in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup after taking down the Alaska Aces, 84-74, at the DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga on Thursday, September 2.
JR Quiñahan led a balanced charge with 18 points and 4 rebounds for the Road Warriors, who improved to 3-2 in the standings after stringing back-to-back triumphs.
NLEX kicked off its campaign in Pampanga without its superstar guard Kiefer Ravena as he is currently in Japan to process documents for his upcoming B.League stint with the Shiga Lakestars.
After leading by a point, 38-37, at halftime, the Road Warriors started out slow in the third period and trailed by as many as 10 points, 42-52.
However, the Road Warriors went on a massive 11-0 run to snatch the lead back from the Aces, 53-52, with less than three minutes left in the quarter.
It was a see-saw battle between both teams early in the final frame, but it was the Road Warriors that pulled away late as they managed to extend their lead to 9 points, 80-71, which proved too much for the Aces to overcome with only three minutes remaining in the ball game.
Kevin Alas, the leading scorer of NLEX so far in the conference, added 17 points, while Jericho Cruz and Kenneth Ighalo stepped up in Ravena’s absence with 15 points apiece.
Maverick Ahanmisi finished with 17 points, while Mike DiGregorio chipped in 16 points for the Aces, who dropped to 2-4 in the standings.
NLEX 84 – Quinahan 18, Alas 17, Cruz 15, Ighalo 15, Oftana 8, Paniamogan 6, Miranda 5, Porter 0, Trollano 0, Ayonayon 0, Mcaloney 0.
Alaska 74 – Ahanmisi 17, DiGregorio 16, Brondial 8, Herndon 7, Banal 7, Teng 5, Tratter 4, Stockton 4, Casio 4, Ebona 2, Ilagan 0.
Quarters: 20-19, 38-37, 59-55, 84-74.