|Dez Wells erupted against Olu Ashaolu. PBA Media Group|
By Ivan Saldajeno
MANILA--Dez Wells won it for San Miguel as the team survived a gritty NLEX squad, 98-94, in the PBA's first game back in Dubai early Saturday (Philippine Time).
In a battle between unbeaten teams in the said city's Coca-Cola Arena, Wells scored on a putback with 23 seconds left as the Beermen came alive way late into the match to steal the victory from the Road Warriors.
Kiefer Ravena had a chance to regain the lead for NLEX, but he muffed a stepback jumper.
Chris Ross still kept the door open for the Road Warriors to at least force overtime as he only made a split from the free throw line.
But Olu Ashaolu misfired a tough jumper and Ross finally sealed the win for the Beermen with a 2-for-2 trip back at the charity stripe.
Wells finished with 32 points, 14 rebounds, four assists, one steal, and two blocks for SMB, which momentarily tied TNT at the top of the standings at 3-0.
The KaTropa can reclaim solo first place with a win against the Columbian Dyip later Saturday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
Alex Cabagnot added 20 points, four rebounds, and one assist, while Junemar Fajardo chipped in 16 points, 18 rebounds, one assist, two blocks, and one steal.
Ravena made 20 points, five rebounds, eight assists, and one steal for NLEX in a game where Ashaolu was held to 11 points, although he had 20 rebounds alongside two assists and one steal.
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