NLEX assured of playoff

October 26, 2018

ANTIPOLO – With their backs against the wall, NLEX and coach Yeng Guiao did everything possible to stay alive.

Even if they have to do it in  an extra period.

Former University of Iowa standout Aaron Fuller and JR Quiñahan took charge as NLX held off Alaska Milk, 116-110 in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

Fuller, who finished with 42 points and 22 rebounds in nearly 49 minutes, and Quiñahan scored all of the Road Warriors’ 17 points in overtime.

The 6-6 American opened the extra period with a three-point play, while Quinahan nailed a three-pointer to give NLEX a 105-101 lead.

The bull-strong Quinahan had another triple – a wide-open shot – that put the Road Warriors ahead for good at 112-110 after the Aces led for the last time at 110-109 on a split charity by Chris Banchero.

In all, Quiñahan scored 10 of his 15 points in the extra period alone.

Michael Miranda and Philip Paniamogan also stepped up for the Road Warriors with 10 points apiece.

“Aaron Fuller just carried us on his shoulders tonight,” said Guiao.

Mike Harris led Alaska with 35 points and 26 rebounds, followed by Vic Manuel with 22.

The Aces could have secured a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals had they won.

At 7-3, the team may need to win one of its last two games.

The scores:

NLEX  (116) -- Fuller 42, Quinahan 15, Galanza 8, Ighalo 8, Tallo 7, Baguio 7, Tiongson 3, Soyud 2, Fonacier 2, Taulava 0.

Alaska  (110) -- Harris 35, Manuel 22, Casio 16, Enciso 10, Banchero 9, Teng 6, Racal 6, Baclao 4, Thoss 2, Exciminiano 0, Pascual 0.

Quarterscores: 19-20, 53-43, 77-77, 99-99, 116-110.