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NLEX ends Alaska's 'Last Dance' with QF clincher

Cameron Clark showed his worth for the Road Warriors. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Coach Yeng Guiao's birthday happened to be the day Alaska formally bid goodbye to the PBA.

NLEX ended Alaska's 35-season stay in Asia's premier professional basketball league on Saturday night with a statement 96-80 blowout in the Governors' Cup quarterfinals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

With the last semifinal seat on the line, both teams went toe-to-toe in the first quarter which ended with the Road Warriors slightly ahead, 21-20.

NLEX pulled away for good in the second quarter after holding Alaska to just 11 points en route to a 46-31 halftime lead even as the former quickly withstood the latter's comeback bid in the third quarter.

Cameron Clark led NLEX, which will face Ginebra in the semifinals on Wednesday night, with 24 points, eight rebounds, two assists, and two steals.

Kris Rosales and JR Quinahan each added 12 points.

Mark Saint Fort got his scoring groove going in the fourth quarter and led Alaska, which will leave the PBA as a 14-time champion and a one-time grand slam winner, with 14 points, seven rebounds, three assists, one steal, and one block.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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