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NLEX denies Ginebra shot at top seed with stunner in OT thriller

Earl Clark's hot game helped NLEX snap its slide. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASIG—NLEX shut the door on Ginebra's last gasp to steal the top seed in the PBA Commissioner's Cup quarterfinals after escaping with a 120-117 overtime squeaker on Friday night at the PhilSports Arena.

With the win, the Road Warriors kept their own hopes of making the Last 8.

Brandon Rosser eventually won it for NLEX after draining a right corner three with 1:37 left in the extension even as Ginebra was held scoreless the rest of the way.

Paul Varilla actually kept the door open for the Gin Kings to force another overtime as he only made a split from the free throw line with 19 seconds left, but Jamie Malonzo and Justin Brownlee missed potential buzzer-beating threes that could have indeed added five more minutes to the already extended match.

Earl Clark led the Road Warriors, who snapped a five-game losing streak to go up to 4-7, with 37 points, 17 rebounds, seven assists, one block, and two steals.

Don Trollano sizzled in the second half and finished with 26 points alongside six rebounds, two assists, one steal, and one block.

Brownlee finished with 39 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, and two blocks, while Scottie Thompson added 17 points, 12 rebounds, five assists, and three steals for the Gin Kings, who saw their five-game winning streak snapped and dropped to 7-3.

With the result, Bay Area is now assured of finishing the elimination round at the top of the standings, earning the team the first seed in the quarterfinals starting early next month.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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