The NLEX Road Warriors gave their coach Yeng Guiao a rousing welcome back.
The Road Warriors sent erstwhile league-leader Blackwater Elite back to earth with a resounding 124-106 triumph in the 2018 Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last night.
Larry Fonacier converted six triples on his way to 24 points while Aaron Fuller likewise had the same output and added 20 rebounds for a monster double-double as they led the NLEX charge.
NLEX improved to a fair 4-2 slate while dealing Blackwater its first taste of defeat.
The Elite, on the other hand, lost the tournament lead with the loss, dropping to 4-1 in a second place tie with Barangay Ginebra.
With Guiao, who coached his first game this conference after serving the National Team, back at the helm, NLEX methodically attacked Blackwater in the first half.
The Road Warriors took the first and second quarters by five points each, leading to a 55-45 advantage at intermission.
Continuing their surge, they then broke the game wide open in the third, extending their lead to 23 points, 81-58, after a Kenneth Ighalo triple at the 5:14 mark of the period.
Ighalo himself had a splendid night, adding 18 points for the Road Warriors.
The shell-shocked Elite was unable to answer and put up a fight as it helplessly watched its four-game winning run snapped.
Henry Waller led Blackwater with 16 markers but his partner Mike DiGregorio was held to only five points.
Meanwhile, San Miguel Beer cut ties with longtime import AZ Reid.
After the Beermen lost two of their last three games, the management decided to let go of Reid in exchange for a former NBA player.
Former Utah Jazz cager Kevin Murphy was tapped by San Miguel to take Reid’s place.
NLEX 124 - Fonacier 24, Fuller 24, Ighalo 18, Miranda 9, Paniamogan 9, Galanza 8, Quinahan 8, Tiongson 6, Baguio 6, Soyud 4, Rios 4, Monfort 3, Taulava 1, Tallo 0.
Blackwater 106 - Sumang 24, Walker 16, Zamar 16, Pinto 15, Al-Hussaini 7, Sena 6, Jose 6, Maliksi 5, Digregorio 5, Belo 4, Palma 2, Javier 0.
Quarter scores: 24-19, 55-45, 90-75, 124-106.
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