Warriors blast Batang Pier, notch 2nd straight win
Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) - August 20, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — NLEX picked up a second straight win with an ailing import last night by crushing NorthPort, 123-107, in the PBA Governors Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

Olu Ashaolu, a Nigerian-Canadian, dished out another impressive performance of 27 points and 13 rebounds despite a slight tear on a tendon on his right knee.

But the 30-year-old, who once had hopes of making it to the NBA, refused to take all the credit, saying their 2-0 record is based on team effort.

“I got a great group of guys with me,” said Ashaolu after the victory that followed a big win over TNT KaTropa only three nights ago.

NLEX continued to miss head coach Yeng Guiao and three players. But with Ashaolu carrying the load, the Road Warriors are looking very good on the floor.

Management are said to be looking for a replacement for Ashaolu, who promised to continue playing as long as he can.

On Wednesday, NLEX plays yet another game, this time against Magnolia.

“I’m playing. I’ll be there,” said Ashaolu, who, during the post-game interview had time to greet Guiao and teammate Asi Taulava, who are in Indonesia for the Asian Games.

In the other game, an import-less TNT KaTropa stunned Meralco, 92-90, and forced a tie for second place with the Bolts at 1-1.

 The TNT locals led by Terrence Romeo and Jayson Castro delivered after import Mike Glover was sent home following a poor stint in TNT’s loss to NLEX last Friday.

Interim coach Jojo Lastimosa continued to squeeze the best from the locals as well, and broke into a smile as he crossed the halfcourt to shake hands with his NorthPort counterparts after the final buzzer.

Larry Fonacier and Mark Tallo had 14 points each while Fil-Nigerian Kenneth Ighalo finished with 11. Alex Mallari and Juami Tiongson has 10 points each for NLEX.

The Road Warriors led from the start with Fonacier breaking the ice with a triple. They raced to an early 31-15 lead, slowed down a bit then pulled away anew in the final quarter.

The scores

First game

NLEX 123 – Ashaolu 27, Fonacier 14, Tallo 14, Quinahan 12, Ighalo 11, Mallari 10, Tiongson 10, Baguio 8, Paniamogan 5, Marcelo 4, Miranda 4, Galanza 4.

NorthPort 107 – Woods 42, Tautuaa 20, Taha 15, Grey 13, Javelona 8, Teng 5, Guinto 3, Elorde 1, Espinas 0, Gabayni 0. 

Quarterscores: 34-19, 61-58, 94-78, 123-107. 

Second game

TNT 92 – Romeo 23, Pogoy 19, Castro 16, Rosario 13, Williams 7, Garcia 7, Semerad 3, Golla 2, Tamsi 2, Carey 0, Paredes 0.

Meralco 90 – Durham 27, Amer 18, Newsome 10, Hodge 9, Canaleta 9, Tolomia 8, Caram 6, De Ocampo 2, Hugnatan 1, Salva 0, Sedurifa 0, Lanete, 0. 

Quarterscores: 23-23, 43-41, 68-61, 92-90.

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