Ginebra and NLEX get their first wins in the Commissioner’s Cup

NLEX Road Warriors 120 – Phoenix Fuel Masters 115

The NLEX Road Warriors nearly had a disappointing collapse resulting to another loss. But they were able to regain their footing in overtime to beat the Phoenix Fuel Masters for their first win of the conference.

With less than three minutes left in the fourth quarter of the game, Kiefer Ravena drove to the hoop and scored on a tough, contested layup over James White. His shot fell and he got the foul called on him. Ravena sank the bonus to give the Road Warriors a 10-point lead. They looked like they were on their way to their first win. Phoenix refused to let go of the game so easily.

Matthew Wright answered quickly with a layup and then a tough jumper after an NLEX free throw. Jason Perkins nailed a three-pointer from the right corner and Wright found Perkins cutting to the hoop to as Phoenix went on a run to tie the game heading into the final minute of the fourth quarter. Arnett Moultrie scored on a dunk inside with 27 seconds left in regulation to give NLEX the lead back. Phoenix tried to go to Perkins in the end game but his shot was stuffed by Moultrie. Perkins got the ball back and went for the short stab which missed. Fortunately, James White was there to tip the shot in to tie the game and send it into over time.

In the extra period, NLEX made sure they had the game secured. Alex Mallari scored five points as he and Larry Fonacier nailed back-to-back three-pointers to start the extra period. The Road Warriors unloaded a 9-2 run in the first two minutes of OT to seal the win. Moultrie filled the box score with 37 points, 17 rebounds, eight assists, four blocks and a steal. JR Quinahan scored 16 to support his import. Fonacier and Mallari combined for 24 points and six treys off the bench.

Barangay Ginebra 105 – Blackwater Elite 91

Both Barangay Ginebra and the Blackwater Elite were searching for their first win of the conference. Ginebra got a steady stream of points from the entire team and were able to overwhelm Blackwater for win number one.

The game was tight in the first quarter. Bolstered by the return of Greg Slaughter, Ginebra was able to field a triple tower line-up with Charles Garcia, Japeth Aguilar and Slaughter. All three scored baskets in the first period as Ginebra jumped out to a seven-point lead. But Blackwater countered with their guards. Roi Sumang and Mike DiGregorio hit back-to-back threes to get Blackwater back in the game. Sumang’s three-pointer to start the second quarter cut the lead down to just three-points. But that was the closes Blackwater would get.

Ginebra exploded for 32 points in the second quarter as the entire team chipped in on offense. Their defense held Blackwater to just 14 points in the same stretch allowing them to pull away for good. It was the bench mob that sparked the run for Ginebra. Kevin Ferrer hit a trey to start the run. Mark Caguioa and Sol Mercado both added baskets as the lead stretched to 13. Then the starters took over. Garcia found himself open in the middle for powerful dunks, Aguilar joined him in scoring inside while Scottie Thompson hit a three-pointer from outside. Ginebra built a 23-point lead heading into the half and the game was over at that point.

Six Ginebra players scored in double figures led by Kevin Ferrer who scored 21 points off the bench. The triple towers Garcia, Aguilar and Slaughter scored 18, 13 and 12 respectively. They combined for 24 rebounds and three blocks.

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