PBA Govs Cup: R’Warriors chalk up debut win, keep Aces reeling

Kevin Alas of NLEX challenges the defense of Alaska's Vic Manuel in PBA action at the Big Dome. Alas scored 20 points in the Road Warriors' victory.
By Ricky Manliguis

MANILA—NLEX sustained its mastery over Alaska, carving out a 112-104 win over the Aces to kick off its campaign on a high in the main game of opening day of the 2017 OPPO- PBA Governors’ Cup at the Big Dome in Quezon City Wednesday night.  

Booted out early last conference, the Road Warriors leaned on new import Aaron Fuller and locals Kevin Alas and Juami Tiongson , plus the added boost from newcomers Alex Mallari, JR Quiñahan and Larry Fonacier for the victory, the team’s third straight dating back to the Commissioners’ Cup.

Fuller, the 6-foot-6 former USC Trojan, issued a double-double of 30 points and 20 rebounds while adding three steals, three blocks, and two assists. Alas torched his way with 20 markers with eight boards and four dimes.

Holding a 98-96 edge with 3:31 left in the game, Quiñahan and Tiongson swished in back-to-back hits before Alas took charge, scoring on a lay-up for a 105-98 cushion.  
Fuller then capped off his maiden performance with six more points inside the last two minutes.

Quiñahan, obtained from GlobalPort last conference, got nine points, while Mallari had seven. Fonacier, playing his first game with his new club, finished with only three markers.

“We’re really prepared to compete this conference. We made a lot of major decisions toward the end of the last conference,” winning NLEX coach Yeng Guiao said in the post-match interview.

“But there’s nothing to celebrate at this point, kakaumpisa pa lang,” the fiery mentor added.

With the loss, Alaska has now dropped its ninth successive match stretching from last conference. “Balik-import” LaDontae Henton led the team with 27 points, nine rebounds, and five steals.   
The Scores:

NLEX 112 – Fuller 30, Alas 20, Tiongson 13, Quinahan 9, Rios 8, Taulava 8, Mallari 7, Al-Hussaini 6, Soyud 6, Fonacier 3, Lastimosa 2, Baracael 0, Monfort 0, Ighalo 0, J. Villanueva 0.

Alaska 104 – Henton 27, Enciso 21, Abueva 12, Banchero 11, Thoss 10, Manuel 9, Casio 7, Racal 5, Dela Cruz 2, Magat 0, Exciminiano 0, Mendoza 0, Baclao 0.

Quarters: 23-24, 56-55, 83-79, 112-104.

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