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NLEX wins OT thriller with Alaska in Guiao's debut

By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY—NLEX got a sigh of relief in the end as the team survived a wild PBA Philippine Cup clash with Alaska that went to overtime, 99-97, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Friday night.

The Road Warriors rallied from 12 points down and even came close to give Coach Yeng Guiao a win in his debut in regulation, but they had to overcome a wild sequence in the Aces' final play to escape.

NLEX fought back from a 50-62 deficit in the third quarter and forced the down-the-wire finish in regulation.

Carlo Lastimosa had a chance to finish it off for the team at the 48th minute, but his long three rolled out as the buzzer sounded, forcing the extra five minutes.

The team would take control of most of the free basketball, but Alaska stayed in the game and even had a chance to force another extension as Lastimosa only made a split from the line with 10.2 seconds left.

Alaska, however, failed to convert four straight baskets in the end, letting NLEX walk away with the win.

Sean Anthony had 21 points, 14 rebounds, one assist, and two steals, while Bradwyn Guinto added 17 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, and one block in his debut for the Road Warriors.

Carl Cruz impressed in his pro debut for the Aces, tallying 20 points, 14 rebounds, and two steals.

Box Scores:

NLEX 99 -Anthony 21, Guinto 17, J. Villanueva 16, Lastimosa 15, Alas 6, Soyud 6, Khobuntin 5, Baracael 5, Lanete 3, Rios 3, Taulava 2, Monfort 0, Camson 0, E. Villanueva 0

Alaska 97-Cruz 20, Manuel 19, Baclao 12, Jazul 10, Racal 9, Dela Cruz 7, Banchero 5, Casio 5, Hontiveros 5, Magat 3, Mendoza 2, Exciminiano 0, Galliguez 0

Quarterscores: 28-17, 46-53, 65-67, 88-88, 99-97

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