Philippine basketball

Semerad shines as NLEX fights back from 22-point hole to frustrate TNT

Delfin Dioquino

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Semerad shines as NLEX fights back from 22-point hole to frustrate TNT

SHOT. Tony Semerad in action for the NLEX Road Warriors.

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Anthony Semerad takes over in a key third quarter as NLEX posts back-to-back wins to improve to an even 5-5

MANILA, Philippines – NLEX overcame a lackluster start and turned back TNT, 97-84, for back-to-back wins in the PBA On Tour at the San Juan Arena on Wednesday, July 26.

Tony Semerad fired 23 points to lead five scorers in double figures as the Road Warriors fought back from a 17-37 deficit at the end of the opening quarter to improve to an even 5-5 in the preseason tournament.

NLEX rode on blistering 18-0 run bridging the middle periods to wrest the lead from the Tropang Giga, 47-45, before Semerad took over.

Semerad scattered 16 of his 23 points in the third frame as the Road Warriors built a 74-68 advantage and never looked back.

Clint Doliguez and Kevin Alas picked up where Semerad left off, dropping 9 points each in the fourth quarter to help NLEX mount a lead as big as 20 points, 95-75, with under three minutes left.

Doliguez backstopped Semerad with 16 points on top of 6 rebounds and 2 steals, Don Trollano finished with 16 points, 7 assists, and 6 rebounds, while Alas posted 14 points and 5 steals.

“Bad start. They were sluggish,” said Road Warriors head coach Frankie Lim. “I just asked my players to be patient, stick to what we’re doing, and slowly, we were able to come back.”

Sean Anthony added 11 points and 7 rebounds in the win, while Matt Nieto enjoyed a field day dishing out the ball, recording 14 assists to go with 6 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals.

Firing from all cylinders from the get-go, TNT drained nine three-pointers in the opening period, with Glenn Khobuntin carrying the scoring cudgels with 14 points in the quarter.

A Carl Bryan Cruz jumper at the start of the second salvo gave the Tropang Giga their biggest lead, 39-17, but the team scored just 6 points the rest of the period as NLEX narrowed the gap to 41-45.

Cruz delivered a game-high 26 points for TNT, which absorbed its second straight defeat and fell to a league-worst 1-9 record.

Khobuntin ended up with 24 points and 10 rebounds, while Jaydee Tungcab tallied 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 steals.

The Scores

NLEX 97 – Semerad 23, Doliguez 16, Trollano 16, Alas 13, Anthony 11, Nieto 6, Pascual 4, Guissani 3, Paniamogan 2, Adamos 2.

TNT 84 – Cruz 26, Khobuntin 24, Tungcab 12, Jopia 6, Marcelo 5, Heruela 3, Varilla 3, Reyes 3, Montalbo 2, Cuntapay 0, Ganuelas-Rosser 0.

Quarters: 17-37, 41-45, 74-68, 97-84.


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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.