JR Quinahan sank the go-ahead free throws with over a minute left to help NLEX topple Columbian Dyip, 117-111, for its second straight win as the Road Warriors regained solo second place in the 2019 Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City tonight.
With the game up for grabs at 106-all, Quinahan was fouled by Jackson Corpuz when he was taking a triple.
The burly slotman sank all his three charities to give NLEX a critical 109-106 lead entering the dying seconds.
A steal from Kiefer Ravena and a completed three-point play from new import Manny Harris sealed the win for NLEX, giving it a comfortable 112-106 edge with 37 seconds left to complete a deciding 6-0 run.
Harris, the Road Warriors’ new reinforcement, introduced himself to the league right away, exploding for a game-high 45 points with five rebounds and four assists to lead his team right in his first game.
Quinahan himself had a good scoring game, finishing with 15 points for NLEX.
The Road Warriors improved to 5-1 for second place and moved closer to securing a berth in the quarterfinals.
The up and down campaign of the Dyip continued as it dropped to an even 3-3 slate in the middle of the pack.
NLEX led by double-digits through most of the first three quarters and was still in control, 87-77, entering the payoff period.
However, Columbian Dyip combined several mini-runs in the fourth to slowly but surely crawl its way back, tying it up at 106-all after two free throws from Khapri Alston with 1:40 left, making it anyone’s game.
But the Road Warriors’ poise down the twilight zone allowed them to narrowly escape and avoid a complete meltdown.
Harris, a former NBA player, was tapped to replace Olu Ashaolu despite NLEX’s hot start and if his first outing was an indication, he might be showing that the change was justifiable.
NLEX held multiple 15-point leads in the third quarter before Columbian crawled back to make it interesting towards the end.
CJ Perez led the Dyip with a team-high 21 points.
NLEX 117 – Harris 45, Quinahan 15, Ravena 11, Galanza 9, Soyud 7, Ighalo 6, Taulava 6, Cruz 6, Miranda 5, Paniamogan 5, Erram 2, Baguio 0, Lao 0.
Columbian 111 – Perez 21, Corpuz 20, Alston 19, Tiongson 18, Celda 12, Calvo 7, Agovida 6, Cahilig 3, McCarthy 3, Faundo 2, Cabrera 0, Flores 0.
Quarterscores: 28-20, 54-44, 87-77, 117-111.