|Philip Paniamogan sizzled off the bench for the Road Warriors. Dennis Acosta|
By Ivan Saldajeno
QUEZON CITY—NLEX pummeled Blackwater, 122-101, in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday night.
The Road Warriors went on a tear in the second quarter, outscoring the Elite, 34-20, and opened a 57-42 halftime lead.
NLEX even extended its lead to as high as 24, 87-63, late in the third quarter.
However, Blackwater mounted a huge 23-8 run spanning to the fourth quarter to cut the lead down to just nine, 95-86, with 8:15 to play in the game.
That turned out to be the team's last gasp as NLEX answered with a 24-9 run to rebuild its largest lead before settling for the 21-point win.
Philip Paniamogan fired 25 points on 8-of-13 shooting, three rebounds, nine assists, and three steals for the Road Warriors, who moved up to 4-5, keeping their playoff hopes alive.
Poy Erram, playing for the first time against his former team, added 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting, 10 rebounds, two assists, and two blocks.
Allein Maliksi made 20 markers of his own with seven boards, three dimes, one steal, and one block for the Elite, who dropped to 2-8, putting them at risk of outright elimination.
Playing against the team that drafted them only to become part of the Erram trade, Abu Tratter made a double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds with one assist and one steal, while Paul Desiderio had 12 markers, four caroms, and one assist.
Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno