Certified Contender: NLEX Road Warriors
NLEX Road Warriors moving to 6 wins in the 2017 PBA Governors Cup proved that they are vastly improved team especially after defeating the mighty team, Beermen. They are a certified contender this conference.
SMB and NLEX battled it out until the end as both teams were unwilling to give leverage against each other. Road Warriors' game against SMB was one of the real test of their true skills and boy they delivered in crunch time handing SMB their second defeat in the conference.
Coach Yeng Guiao was still in disbelief after the win against top team SMB.
“Parang mahirap pa makapaniwala. Tinalo namin ang San Miguel in a game down the stretch, we are developing some maturity, composure in the endgame” - NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao.
NLEX Road Warriors kept themselves in the game especially in the fourth quarter as they delivered much-needed points to put away the resilient SMB team. Larry Fonancier and JR Quinahan proved lethal for SMB as both players with combined score of 33 points including a great play at the end game as Road Warriors and SMB scrambled for the rebound. Quinahan was able to gain control of the ball and threw it outside to Fonacier to hit the dagger three that sealed the deal for the Road Warriors.
SMB has attempted 12 more shots that NLEX at 102 attempts but they were shooting horribly at 37% compared with 47 of NLEX. The Road Warriors also out-rebounded SMB and was able to get more points inside the paint. The biggest difference, however, was NLEX Road Warriors was able to utilize their bench well with 49 points contribution.
NLEX will see action again on September 3 as they take on Global Port at the Araneta Coliseum while SMB will get their piece of action sooner against Phoenix Fuel Masters on August 30th at the Araneta Coliseum.
NLEX 103 - Fuller 26, Quiñahan 17, Fonacier 16, Mallari 10, Tiongson 8, Alas 7, Soyud 7, Baguio 5, J. Villanueva 3, Lastimosa 2, Al-Hussaini 2, Taulava 0.
SAN MIGUEL 100 - McKines 28, Lassiter 19, Santos 19, Cabagnot 19, Fajardo 6, Ross 4, Ganuelas-Rosser 2, Espinas 2, Heruela 1, Tubid 0.
Quarterscores: 25-24, 48-39, 68-70, 103-100.