NLEX OVERCOMES A 16-POINT DEFICIT TO DEFEAT TERRAFIRMA
NLEX escaped a stagnant pace and returned fire from a 16-point deficit at halftime to beat Terrafirma, 105-102, on Wednesday, June 8 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in the PBA Philippine Cup debut.
Kevin Alas, Calvin Oftana, and JR Quinahan were the driving forces behind NLEX’s second-half comeback after the team entered the breakdown by a score of 41-25.
Alas sparked a comeback for the Road Warriors with 24 points and six rebounds off the bench to lead a group of five players who scored in double digits.
The dominant play of Oftana and Quinahan further culminated in extensive contributions to the team as they scored 33 points in the second half, crucial to NLEX’s success in winning the game.
In the third quarter, Quiahan accounted for 12 of his 18 points as the Road Warriors narrowed the deficit to five points, 71-76, after losing 31-47 at halftime.
Oftana, who had previously been sidelined due to a hand injury, returned to action and proceeded to carry the scoring hatchets in the final frame, scoring 18 of his 20 points and including the win-sealing foul throws with one-fourth of a second remaining to play.
Also, Don Trollano contributed significantly 15 points and eight rebounds, while Justin Chua added 13 points and 10 rebounds.
The Dyip, on the other hand, did not give up the battle in spite of their catastrophic collapse, and they were able to close the gap to a hair’s breadth as a result of a three-pointer from Ed Daquioag and technical free throws from Juami Tiongson.
The performance that Terrafirma turned in during the first half did not catch NLEX coach Yeng Guiao off guard.
NLEX 105 – Alas 24, Oftana 20, Quinahan 18, Trollano 15, Chua 13, Rosales 7, Paniamogan 5, Nieto 3, Miranda 0, Soyud 0, Varilla 0, Ighalo 0, Semerad 0.
Terrafirma 102 – Tiongson 18, Ramos 18, Munzon 15, Daquioag 14, Gabayni 12, Cahilig 7, Go 7, Camson 5, Gomez de Liano 4, Balagasay 2, Calvo 0, Enriquez 0, Mina 0.
Quarters: 17-18; 31-47; 71-76; 105-102