PBA Governors' Cup

Alas, Selden take turns as NLEX fends off Rain or Shine to nail quarters berth

Delfin Dioquino

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Alas, Selden take turns as NLEX fends off Rain or Shine to nail quarters berth

SPARK PLUG. Kevin Alas gives NLEX a huge lift off the bench.

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NLEX becomes the fourth team to reach the PBA Governors' Cup playoffs, joining San Miguel, TNT, and Converge

MANILA, Philippines – Kevin Alas hit the most important buckets late and NLEX held off a Rain or Shine comeback, 110-99, to book its playoff ticket in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Saturday, February 25.

Alas fired a game-high 28 points off the bench, including a pair of baskets in the final minute that kept the Elasto Painters at bay as the Road Warriors improved to 6-3 to join TNT (8-1), San Miguel (7-2), and Converge (6-2) in the quarterfinals.

Trailing 104-87 with three minutes left, Rain or Shine pulled within 7 points on the back of a 10-0 run powered by 6 points from Rey Nambatac.

But NLEX import Wayne Selden stretched their lead to 9 points, 106-87, and Alas scored back-to-back short stabs that sealed the win for his side.

Selden posted 21 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals as he came alive in the last two quarters after taking the backseat on offense in the first half, where he tallied just 5 points.

But even without Selden torching the nets as usual, the Road Warriors relied on local stars Alas and Don Trollano to open a lead as big as 29 points, 56-27, in the second quarter.

Alas erupted for 15 points in the first half, while Trollano scattered 12 of his 20 points in the first two periods and added 8 rebounds.

“We’re thankful we’re in the quarters. We just hope that we get a spot in the top four,” said NLEX head coach Frankie Lim, with the Road Warriors in prime position to clinch a twice-to-beat playoff bonus.

Mike Miranda, Clint Doliguez, and Kris Rosales chipped in 8 points each for NLEX.

The Elasto Painters leaned on Nambatac, who churned out 11 points in the third quarter, as they sliced their deficit to half, 66-80, going into the final frame.

However, Rain or Shine fell short of its fightback after playing with an all-Filipino roster in the entire second half, with import Greg Smith sidelined by a hamstring injury.

Smith played just 15 minutes and recorded 3 points on a 0-of-4 shooting from the field to go with 3 rebounds and 2 steals against 4 turnovers.

Nambatac wound up with 26 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists for the Elasto Painters, who absorbed their second straight defeat and fell to 2-6.

Gabe Norwood netted 13 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 steals in the losing effort, while Nick Demusis contributed 12 points and 6 rebounds.

The Scores

NLEX 110 – Alas 28, Selden Jr. 21, Trollano 20, Miranda 8, Goliguez 8, Rosales 8, Ganuelas-Rosser 7, Nieto 6, Pascual 4.

Rain or Shine 99 – Nambatac 26, Norwood 13, Demusis 12, Santillan 8, Mamuyac 7, Ildefonso 7, Borboran 7, Caracut 5, Belga 4, Smith 3, Yap 3, Ponferrada 2, Asistio 0, Clarito 0.

Quarters: 33-13, 62-35, 80-66, 110-99.

– 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.