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NLEX hands TNT 1st defeat

Kevin Alas braved a tough showdown against the Tropang Giga. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Down goes the last unbeaten team in the PBA bubble season!

TNT's hot start came to an end on Thursday night when struggling NLEX pulled off a 109-98 at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center.

The Road Warriors turned thing around in the second quarter, outscoring the Tropang Giga, 29-16, to turn a 24-32 deficit after the first quarter to a 53-48 halftime lead.

NLEX would take control for most of the second half to preserve the lead.

TNT still tried to crawl back as the team was just down by five, 96-101, with 1:35 left, but Kiefer Ravena shut the door on the team of his father Bong with a dagger three that sparked NLEX's game-saving 8-0 run.

Despite playing through a bloodied nose, Kevin Alas led the Road Warriors, who just won for the second time in Season 45, with 24 points, six rebounds, two assists, and three steals.

Jericho Cruz added 19 points, two rebounds, two steals, and one steal.

Jayson Castro's 27-point explosion coupled by eight assists, five rebounds, and one steal went down the drain as the Tropang Giga's five-game winning start was snapped.

In his first game against the Road Warriors, Poy Erram was held to just nine points, three rebounds, one assist, and one steal.

Box Scores:

NLEX 109-Alas 24, Cruz 19, Ravena 16, Quinahan 8, Miranda 8, Ayonayon 8, Semerad 7, Soyud 6, McAloney 6, Varilla 5, Porter 2, Ighalo 0

TNT 98-Castro 27, Pogoy 16, Parks 15, Rosario 11, Enciso 11, Erram 9, Reyes 7, De Leon 2, Semerad 0, Washington 0

Quarterscores: 24-32, 53-48, 75-67, 109-98

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno_

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