NLEX posted its second straight win as it demolished Blackwater, 122-101, to enhance its playoff bid in the PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Road Warriors spent the opening quarter sizing up the Elite before they caught fire in the second quarter where they stormed to a commanding lead on the way to the lopsided win.
The Road Warriors, who still have two more games to play in the 11-game elimination, clinched their second straight win and fourth overall in nine outings, bolstering their chances of making the 8-team quarterfinal round.
Philip Paniamogan was all over the place as he went unstoppable all nightlong, cutting loose with 25 points, including five triples, and pulled down nine rebounds in a splendid 24 and half minutes stint inside.
Four others – JP Erram, Juamy Tiongson, Kenneth Ighalo and Bong Galanza – also shone on offense after the four came away with double-digit performances against a Blackwater team that seemed to have lost its heart to play.
Erram scored 20 points and hauled down 10 rebounds, Ighalo added 17 points, Tiongson 13 points and 11 assists and Galanza 18 points as the Road Warriors sent the Elite reeling to their eighth loss against two wins.
The game was close only in the first quarter, but as soon as Paniamogan, Galanza, and Erram started firing, the Road Warriors suddenly stormed to a 44-11 lead and into 57-42 at the turn.
As if that was not enough, the Road Warriors unloaded four booming triples early in the third to build a 71-49 lead which the Elite never came close to overhauling the rest of the way.
Allein Maliksi paced the Elite with 20 points, with Mike DiGregorio, Abu Tratter, Paul Disederio and Mac Belo also contributing good numbers which were simply not enough to match the Road Warriors’ intensity.
NLEX (122) - Paniamogan 25, Erram 20, Galanza 18, Ighalo 17, Tiongson 13, Quinahan 8, Porter 6, Tallo 5, Soyud 4, Lao 4, Baguio 2, Taulava 0, Magat 0, Varilla 0.
Blackwater (101) - Maliksi 20, Digregorio 17, Tratter 16, Desiderio 12, Belo 11, Cortez 6, Banal 6, Dario 6, Sumang 5, Jose 2, Sena 0, Al-Husaaini 0, Javier 0,
Quarterscores: 23-22, 57-42, 89-72, 122-101.