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NLEX repulses gritty Phoenix in OT

Arnett Moultrie was fired up on Friday night. PBA Media Bureau
By Ivan Saldajeno

BINAN--NLEX needed a strong start in the overtime period to finally get its first win in the PBA Commissioner's Cup, a 120-115 beating of Phoenix at the Alonte Sports Arena on Friday night.

The Road Warriors lost a 19-point lead but got their bearings going at the start of the extra five minutes to break out of a three-game slump.

Behind a strong second quarter, NLEX raced to a 54-35 lead late in the period only for Phoenix to climb back in the third quarter to make the game interesting.

The Road Warriors still looked to pull away after reopening a double-digit spread, 101-91, with 2:57 remaining in regulation.

But the Fuel Masters finished the fourth on a 13-3 run to eventually force overtime.

Arnett Moultrie still had a chance to win it for NLEX in regulation, but he missed a leaning jumper as time expired.

However, Larry Fonacier and Alex Mallari made up for it by leading the 9-2 run to open overtime to finally put away Phoenix.

Moultrie finished two assists shy of a triple-double with 37 points and 17 rebounds alongside the eight dimes he gave out. He also had four blocks and one steal.

Larry Fonacier flirted with a double-double of his own, tallying 11 markers and nine assists with four rebounds and one block.

JR Quinahan added 16 points, shooting a perfect 3-for-3 from long range, one rebound, two assists, and two steals off the bench.

James White led Phoenix, which slipped to 2-2, with 31 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and one steal.

The scores:

NLEX 120 - Moultrie 37, QuiƱahan 16, Mallari 13, Fonacier 11, Ravena 9, Miranda 8, Baguio 7, Soyud 7, Tiongson 5, Rios 4, Monfort 3, Ighalo 0.

PHOENIX 115 - Wright 31, White 18, Chan 17, Perkins 15, Revilla 9, Mendoza 8, Jazul 8, Kramer 4, Eriobu 2, Chua 2, Alolino 0, Wilson 0, Intal 0.

Quarterscores: 28-25, 57-43, 78-72, 104-104, 120-115

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno