|Kevin Alas exploded for a career-high 30 points in his first game back after clearing COVID-19 protocols. PBA Images|
SAN JUAN, MM--NLEX banked on a strong start and kept Magnolia at bay the rest of the way for a 90-77 win in Game 2 of their PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinal series on Friday night at the FilOil EcoOil Centre.
The Road Warriors turned to their defense early on and held the Hotshots to just 32 first-half points, 14 in the second quarter, even as they built a 23-point lead at halftime.
Magnolia, however, came alive in the second half, drawing to within nine, 66-75, with 10:09 left in the fourth quarter.
NLEX sealed the deal midway through the fourth as the team launched the game-deciding 13-2 run to up its lead back to 20.
Kevin Alas erupted for a career-high 30 points on six triples, also a new personal best, with nine rebounds, four assists, and one steal for the Road Warriors, who tied their best-of-three series at one game apiece.
Calvin Oftana added 10 points, nine rebounds, and two assists.
Calvin Abueva put up 20 markers, seven boards, four dimes, and one steal for the Hotshots, who saw their eight-game winning streak dating back to the elimination round snapped.
Game 3 is on Sunday night at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
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