After a losing stretch that spanned 4 months already, NLEX unleashed the warrior within them without import Wayne Chism at crunch time as the Road Warriors shocked the Alaska Aces, 100-92 to finally break into the win column in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
- Making a way without Wayne: What made the NLEX’s morale-boosting victory sweeter was they managed to hold on without Chism in the last 5:20 minutes of the game. Young guns Kevin Alas and Rabeh Al-Hussaini combined for 10 points in the final canto to help the Road Warriors complete the reversal.
- Endgame woes no more: Newly-acquired veterans JR Quinahan and Alex Mallari also vindicated NLEX’s recent move as they provided the much-need stability against the Aces.
- Guiao avoids matching career losing streak: His first win since January 7, head coach Yeng Guiao avoided breaking his personal record of 13 straight losses in the PBA.
- Caged Beast: Aside from the bitter loss, Alaska suffered a double whammy as energetic forward Calvin Abueva exited the game with a suspected right foot injury.
- Unlucky Aces: While the Road Warriors broke into the winning column, the Aces dropped their fifth straight loss since opening the conference with 4-0 card.
- Quote of the match: “Bringing in the veterans JR Quinahan and Alex Mallari helps us stabilize the game especially in the endgame.” – NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao
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