NLEX 109 – GlobalPort 99
The NLEX Road Warriors are closing in on securing a twice-to-beat advantage for the quarterfinals of the 2017 Governor’s Cup. They won their seventh game when they dispatched the undermanned GlobalPort Batang Pier.
The Batang Pier were missing Stanley Pringle who had to fly to the US to take care of personal matters. The Road Warriors pounced on this and ran out to an 18-point lead. Aaron Fuller and Juami Tiongson combined to score the first 11 points of NLEX. Fuller continued to dominate inside as his team built a 27-9 lead midway through the opening period.
The Batang Pier clawed their way back into the game behind the shooting of Terrence Romeo. Romeo hit a buzzer-beating half court heave at the end of the first quarter to ignite their run. Romeo scored eight straight points to turn the game into a back-and-forth affair.
Tiongson caught fire in the fourth quarter as he hit three treys in the final period as NLEX went on a run to take a nine-point lead, 91-82. The NLEX guard continued to play well in the final quarter as he issued a nice assists to Fuller and hit a fast break layup to secure the win.
Ginebra 105 – Star 101
It was a hotly-contested Manila Clasico as both teams were gunning for the top spot of the Governor’s Cup standings. It was a tight game all throughout as neither team allowed the other to pull away.
Paul Lee was smoking hot to start the fourth quarter. The spitfire guard hit three straight three-pointers to help Star take a two-point lead. Star and Ginebra continued to trade blows in the final period. Malcolm Hill and Mark Barroca hit big shots to help Star build a four-point lead, 90-86 with a little over two minutes left in the game. But Justin Brownlee and Joe Devance hit even bigger shots to give Ginebra a three-point lead in the dying seconds.
With only 2.5 seconds left in the game, Star ran a play to get Hill the ball. Star’s import faked a shot that got his defender, Japeth Aguilar up in the air. Aguilar almost cleanly jumped over the import but his legs clipped Hill’s arms taking a shot. Hill was give three free-throws, all of which he sank to tie the game, at 95 with 0.6 seconds remaining. Brownlee could not get a clean look at the basket and the game went into overtime.
In the extra period, Greg Slaughter scored on a dunk and LA Tenorio hit a big three-pointer to keep pace with Star. Brownlee made up for his miss in regulation when he scored on a floater to give Ginebra a four-point lead, which was enough to hold off the Hotshots.