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Energy turn back Road Warriors

By Dugout Philippines

Barako Bull survived a down-the-wire finish to beat NLEX, 92-87, at the resumption of the PBA Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The Energy led by eight, 83-75, with 2:42 remaining in the game.

But free throws from Asi Taulava and Mark Cardona trimmed the lead to five, 83-78, with a little over two minutes to go.

Chico Lanete split his charities to stretch the gap to six with 1:51 left.

But Taulava converted an and-one play to draw to within three, 81-84 with a hundred seconds on the clock.

NLEX had another chance to draw closer as Barako missed in its next offensive.

But the Road Warriors also failed to convert in their own play.

R.R. Garcia then scored off a spin move to put the lead back to five with 29 seconds left.

J.C. Intal added two more free throws after another botched NLEX play to extend Barako Bull's to seven with 20 seconds to go.

Cardona quickly fired a triple to cut the lead back to four with 17 seconds remaining.

Mick Pennisi made two free throws after a quick foul to put the Energy back up, 90-84, with 16 seconds left.

But Cardona again kept the Road Warriors afloat with his own three-point play to cut the lead back to three, 90-87, with 12.7 seconds remaining.

NLEX gained another crack at slimming the gap further as Willie Wilson only made 1-of-2 from the stripe.

But the Road Warriors misfired on the next play as the Energy escaped with the victory.

Garcia led Barako with 22 points to spoil Cardona's game-high 23.

Box Scores:

Barako Bull 92--Garcia 22, Lanete 13, Wilson 13, Pennisi 12, Intal 10, Marcelo 7, Pascual 6, Lastimosa 5, Miranda 4, Pena 0, Salvador 0, Paredes 0

NLEX 87--Cardona 23, Taulava 17, Borboran 9, Ramos 9, R. Villanueva 8, J. Villanueva 6, Canaleta 4, H. Arboleda 3, Lingganay 2, Baloria 2, Apinan 1, Raymundo 0, W. Arboleda 0

Quarterscores: 18-18, 41-39, 62-66, 92-87