Asi, Sean pace NLEX over Barako
Joey Villar, Nelson Beltran (The Philippine Star) - October 28, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Asi Taulava and Sean Anthony produced double-double games for the second straight time, including hitting personal milestones in rebounding as NLEX subdued Barako Bull, 93-85, to gain a share of the early lead in the 2015-16 Smart Bro PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last night.

Taulava topscored with 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to move into the Top Five in the all-time rebounding ladder with a career total of 5,839, relegating Philip Cezar to No. 6 with 5,834.

If he sustains his pace, the Fil-Tongan behemoth may also get past Alvin Patrimonio (6,152) at No. 4 before the end of the season. The top three all-time leaders are Ramon Fernandez (8,652), Abet Guidaben (8.570) and Jerry Codiñera (7,034).

Anthony, meanwhile, rifled in 11 points and snared a career-high 19 rebounds for a second straight double-double performance with the team that acquired him through a trade deal a few days before the season opener.

Another new NLEX recruit Kevin Alas, Mark Cardona and Rico Villanueva also delivered double-digit outputs, helping the Road Warriors to a virtual repeat of their come-from-behind 90-86 win over the Blackwater Elite Friday.

The win enabled NLEX to tie Rain or Shine in the lead at 2-0.

The Road Warriors fought back from an early 13-point deficit and played steadily in the homestretch as they pulled off a first win in four head-on matches with the Energy.

Talk n Text and Rain or Shine are the only teams NLEX hasn’t beaten in its young franchise history.

“We’re happy we got this win. (We’ve got) two straight wins despite another bad start,” said NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez.

“We started flat. We never executed our game plan. At halftime, I told the guys we have to bring out our defensive mentality,” Fernandez also said. “In the third quarter, we made the stops right away, and our defensive execution brought us back in the game.”

Holding down the Energy to 18 points in the third, the Road Warriors charged from a 38-45 halftime deficit to a 73-63 lead going into the payoff period.

In the crunch, the Road Warriors leaned on decisive plays by Alas, Villanueva and Anthony on the offensive end to finish off the Energy.

In the second game, the San Miguel Beermen just won’t let the Meralco Bolts ruin the night when they were presented their championship rings for winning the last Philippine Cup.

The Beermen repulsed the Bolts, 101-85, to also gain a piece of the lead in the tourney they won over the Alaska Milk Aces last season.

ABET GUIDABEN ACIRC ALASKA MILK ACES ALVIN PATRIMONIO ASI TAULAVA AND SEAN ANTHONY BARAKO BULL BLACKWATER ELITE FRIDAY BOYET FERNANDEZ JERRY CODI PHILIPPINE CUP ROAD WARRIORS
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