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NLEX deposes Meralco, 89-76

By Josh Castro

QUEZON CITY--NLEX lost a double-digit lead at the half but rebuilt the said edge just right before the end in its 89-76 win against Meralco in an MVP team derby to cap the PBA Commissioner's Cup Friday night doubleheader at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Road Warriors led the Bolts, 45-35, after the second quarter, but the latter built a 16-5 run to start the third to take a 51-50.

That would be Meralco's last taste of the lead as NLEX retook the driver's seat and immediately went up by ten anew, 63-53, with a 13-2 run late in the period.

Meralco had one last gasp as the team cut the lead to four, 72-68, with 5:43 left, but NLEX held on and even stretched the gap to 13 at the end.

Al Thornton led the Road Warriors with 36 points, while K.G. Canaleta added 16.

With Josh Davis playing hurt after Saturday's injury, Gary David led the Bolts' gallant stand as he finished with 28 markers. Davis tallied 19.

Box Scores:

NLEX 89-Thornton 36, Canaleta 16, Villanueva J. 8, Taulava 8, Lingganay 7, Borboran 6, Villanueva E. 4, Cardona 2, Apinan 2, Ramos 0, H. Arboleda 0

Meralco 76-David 28, Davis 19, Cortez 10, Hodge 8, Anthony 5, Dillinger 4, Hugnatan 2, Reyes 0, ATkins 0, Wilson 0, Ferriols 0, Sena 0

Quarterscores: 18-14, 45-35, 63-56, 89-76