Amer Blackwater Bossing’s Baser Amer drives against three NLEX Road Warriors during the 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Photo by Ernie U. Sarmiento

NLEX survives Blackwater

October 1, 2022 Robert Andaya 403 views

ANOTHER monster game from import Earl Clark, another win for NLEX.

With Clark leading the way, NLEX outscored Blackwater Bossing in the pivotal fourth quarter and posted a dramatic come-from-behind 105-102 win in the 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Clark sizzled with a double-double performance with 38 points and 25 rebounds in 44 minutes of action to help the Road Warriors escape with their second win in as many matches.

NLEX outscored Blackwater, 33-21, in the fourth period.

Don Trollano added 18 points and eight rebounds, Kevin Alas contributed 16 points and Matt Nieto had 10 points and six rebounds for NLEX, which debuted with a 96-90 win over Rain or Shine and former coach Yeng Guiao last week.

“The good thing is hindi bumigay ang mga bata. Yun naman ang pinaka-
importante,” said interim coach Adonis Tierra, who is set to give way to head coach Frankie Lim when the latter finally takes over in their next game on Saturday.

“In the third quarter medyo nakuha na namin ang depensa… kaya medyo gumanda na depensa namin,” explained Tierra.

“Today was a tough matchup. We didn’t shoot as well but we stayed with it. We started to get some defensive stops in the third quarter and in the fourth and it paid off,” said Clark who went 17-of-27 from the field.

He also had four assists and three blocks.

Actually, Blackwater led by 10 points, 95-85, in last five minutes of the final period before NLEX unleashed a crippling 13-2 run to tie the game with 2:35 remaining courtesy of Justine Chua’s thee-point made.

Blackwater then went scoreless in two minutes and NLEX took advantage to steal the win.

Baser Amer topscored for Blackwater with 26 points and five assists while import Cameron Krutwig had a near triple-double with 18 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists.

Rashawn McCarthy also added 17 markers for Blackwater of coach Ariel Vanguardia.

The loss, which came a day after Vanguardia celebrated his 50th birthday and Amer his 30th, dropped the Bossing to to a 1-2 win-loss slate.

The tournament resumes Saturday with another explosive doubleheader pitting Phoenix Super LPG against Bay Area Dragons at 4:30 p.m. and Converge FiberXers against Magnolia Chicken Timplados at 6:45 p.m. also at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The scores:

NLEX (105) – Clark 38, Trollano 18, Alas 16, Nieto 10, Chua 9, Rosales 5, Ganuelas-Rosser 4, Miranda 3, Varilla 2, Ighalo 0.
Blackwater (102) – Amer 26, Krutwig 18, McCarthy 17, Ular 10, Banal 9, Taha 7, Jackson 5, Suerte 5, Rosario 3, Go 2, Ebona 0, Sena 0.
Quarterscores: 20-26, 45-56, 72-81, 105-102.

Games Saturday:

(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
4:30 p.m. — Phoenix vs Bay Area
6:45 p.m. — Converge vs. Magnolia