NLEX rallies from 17 down to stun TNT

By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--About seven hours after the Warriors of the NBA pulled off a dramatic comeback, it was the turn of the PBA's Warriors to pull one of their own.

NLEX came back from a 17-point deficit to shock Talk 'n Text, 107-101, in the nightcap of the PBA Philippine Cup doubleheader at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Friday.

With the Tropang Texters up, 71-54, with 3:54 remaining in the third quarter, Simon Enciso began the Road Warriors' rally bid by igniting a 19-6 run spanning the last two periods to cut the lead to just four, 77-73, early in the fourth.

After a Moala Tautuaa jumper, NLEX went on another 8-2 run to tie the game, 81-all, with 8:43 left in the game.

Jayson Castro scored on a pull-up to put TNT ahead, 83-81, but a 6-1 flurry from NLEX finally put the team up, 87-84.

Troy Rosario drained back-to-back triples to give the Texters the lead anew, 90-87, with 5:04 remaining.

After an exchange of baskets by Asi Taulava and Larry Fonacier, the Road Warriors went on the game-turning 17-4 run highlighted by back-to-back treys from Jonas Villanueva, who actually started the rally, to reclaim the driver's seat for good.

Enciso (19 points), Taulava (18), and Villanueva (ten, eight in the crucial run) provided the needed scoring support for Sean Anthony (32) in the clutch, something lacking in NLEX's last two games, which ended in defeats.

Rosario finished with a career-high 20 for TNT, which failed to force a three-way tie at the top of the standings and ended up tied with NLEX at 3-2.

Box Scores:

NLEX 107-Anthony 32, Enciso 19, Taulava 18, Villanueva J. 10, Khobuntin 7, Camson 4, Reyes 4, Alas 3, Borboran 3, Lanete 3, Apinan 2, Cardona 2

Talk 'n Text 101-Rosario 20, Fonacier 18, Seigle 17, Castro 15, Tautuaa 11, Carey 6, Rosser 6, R. Reyes 6, Williams 2, Aban 0, Miranda 0, J. Reyes 0

Quarterscores: 21-26, 44-49, 70-77, 107-101

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