NLEX Road Warriors win, give SMB 5th heartbreaking loss

    MANILA, Philippines – Tied at the 11th spot with 1-4 record, the San Miguel Beermen and NLEX Road Warriors tried to boxed-out each other to escape the danger of early elimination and after 48 minutes of basketball, the Manny V. Pangilinan owned team moved a step closer to the middle of the standings by edging the vulnerable San Miguel Beermen, 100-93 on Tuesday, February 24 at Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.

    Road Warrior Asi Taulava schooled the youthful SMB starting center Junmar Fajardo
    Road Warrior Asi Taulava schooled the youthful SMB starting center Junmar Fajardo

    As early as second quarter, the Cagayan De Oro out of town game top scorer, Arizona Reid was looking to replicate his perfect debut last weekend by dropping 16 points with 3 out 4 shooting from down town. The 6’4” small forward in dread locks seems a perfect fit for Leo Austria’s squad and style of coaching with the Beermen up again by double digits at the end of the 1st half.

    READ: Beermen Winless No More

    Entering the penultimate quarter, the come-backing AZ Reid continued to wax hot by contributing 11 more points, 1 shot shy of his debut stats of 29. Previously timid players Arwind “Spiderman” Santos and Doug “Bicepticon” Kramer contributed 15 and 12 points respectively in the 3rd quarter to give the Beermen a 21 point lead crossing to the 4th canto.

    The Road Warriors tried to shift the momentum to their side with their NBA Veteran import, Al Thornton and the age-less Asi Taulava spear-headed the offensive attack to trim down the lead to 11.

    The 42 year old Fil-Tongan, schooled the youthful SMB starting center Junmar Fajardo by clogging the shaded lane and making the 25 year old Cebuano big man took shots outside of his comfort zone. Asi “The Rock” Taulava, showed no signs of aging by staying on the floor for more than half an hour until mid-way of the 4th quarter.

    Junmar Fajardo appeared to be bothered by Meralco Wingman Josh Davis whom he accidentally undercut during their out of town game last Saturday in Xavier Gymnasium in Cagayan De Oro City and still listed on a day-to-day basis. The gentle giant had an off-night tallying only 10 points and 9 rebounds compared to the oldest active player in the league Asi Taulava who jotted down 20 points and 7 boards.

    Coach Boyet Fernandez and his wards owned the final quarter and was able to grab the lead for the first time with under 4 minutes of the quarter. KG Canaleta helped Taulava and Thornton by sinking 2 rainbow shots while former FEU Tamaraw guard, Jonas Villanueva forced Coach Leao Austria to call a cease fire by burying another dagger three to give NLEX a 5-point lead with 1:51 remaining in the ball game. Al Thornton secured Road Warriors’ 2nd win of the conference by completing 2 of his foul shots and recording a total of 30 points.

    The ghost of the past continues to haunt the Bermeen with this painful defeat and will stay at the bottom of the standings tied with Black Water Elite both with 1-5 league-worst record.


    NLEX 100– Thornton 30, Taulava 20, J. Villanueva 15, Cardona 9, Borboran 8, Canaleta 6, Lingganay 6, E. Villanueva 2, Ramos 2, Apinan 2, Arboleda 0, Raymundo 0

    SMB 93 – Reid 27, Santos 20, Kramer 15, Lutz 10, Fajardo 10, Cabagnot 6, Ross, 2, Lassiter 2, Tubid 1,

    - D' Waterboy, TheSummitExpress

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