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NLEX continues hot streak, sends Magnolia to early PBA PH Cup skid

Robert Bolick caught fire anew for NLEX. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

CALASIAO—NLEX stretched its winning streak in the PBA Philippine Cup to four after dealing Magnolia another bad beat, this time an 87-74 win on Saturday night at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Manila.

The Hotshots, known for their defense-oriented system, were given a taste of their own medicine as the Road Warriors held them to just 12 points in the first quarter while dropping 26.

Magnolia thought they saw daylight after holding NLEX to just 11 second-quarter points even as the lead was chopped down to 10, 37-27, at the half.

The Road Warriors, though, erupted for 30 points in the third quarter to pull away for good, although the Hotshots had a late run to cut the winning margin to a more respectable one.

Robert Bolick fired 26 points with three rebounds and nine assists, while Anthony Semerad added 22 points, 10 rebounds, one assist, and two steals for NLEX, which moved up to 5-1, trailing San Miguel for the top spot by percentage points.

Ian Sangalang and Russel Escoto each scored 13 points off the bench with Sangalang also grabbing 10 rebounds for Magnolia, which dropped back-to-back games after their conference-opening win against Converge at the nearby Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

The Scores:

NLEX 87 – Bolick 26, Semerad 22, Herndon 9, Miranda 6, Amer 6, Fajardo 6, Nieto 6, Pasucal 3, Nermal 2, Rodger 0, Marcelo 1, Anthony 0, Valdez 0 

MAGNOLIA 74 – Escoto 13, Sangalang 13, Barroca 10, Laput 8, Jalalon 6, Corpuz 5, Lee 5, Mendoza 5, Ahanmisi 4, Eriobu 3, Reavis 0, Murrell 0

QUARTERS: 26-12, 37-27, 67-47, 87-74

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