KEVIN Alas came off the bench to score a game-high 24 points as NLEX rallied from a 16-point deficit to beat Terrafirma, 105-102, in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Road Warriors exploded for 40 points in the third quarter to erase a 31-47 halftime deficit enroute to a dramatic come-from-behind victory over the Dyip in their season debut.
Calvin Oftana added 20 points in his first game back since a hand injury, while JR Quinahan contributed 18 points, six assists, two rebounds and two blocks for the Road Warriors.
Don Trollano and Justin Chua also finished in double figures with 15 and 13 points, respectively.
Trollano also had eight rebounds.
“I am very happy with the way we won because makikita mo yun character ng team,” said NLEX coach Yeng Guiao in an interview posted at the official PBA website.
“Kaya naming bumalik.. kayod hanggang huli. I look at it as a good sign of the character of the team,” added Guiso.
Juami Tiongson and Aldrech Ramos shared scoring honors for Terrafirma with 18 points apiece.
Joshua Munzon had 15 points while Ed Daquioag had 14.
Javi Gomez de Liano made his much-awaited debut with four rebounds, nine rebounds and five assists.
Meanwhile, TNT and Rain or Shine seeks their second straight wins when they meet separate opponents today at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
The Tropang Giga will meet Blackwater Bossing in the curtainraiser at 5:15 p.m., while the Elasto Painters will battle NorthPort Batang Pier in the mainer at 7:15 p.m.
TNT opened its campaign with a morale-boosting 78-72 win over Magnolia on opening day last Sunday despite playing minus Rookie of the Year awardee Mikey Williams, who is still renegotiating his contract and former MVP Kelly Williams, who is still out with a calf injury.
Rain or Shine, which rallied to beat Converge FiberXers, 79-77, hopes to make it two wins in a row against debuting Batang Pier.
NLEX (105) –Alas 24, Oftana 20, Quinahan 18, Trollano 15, Chua 13, Rosales 7, Paniamogan 5, Nieto 3, Miranda 0, Soyud 0, Varilla 0, Ighalo 0, Semerad 0.
Terrafirma (102) – Tiongson 18, Ramos 18, Munzon 15, Daquioag 14, Gabayni 12, Cahilig 7, Go 7, Camson 5, Gomez de Liano 4, Balagasay 2, Calvo 0, Enriquez 0, Mina 0.
Quarterscores: 17-18; 31-47; 71-76; 105-102.
5:15 p.m. — TNT vs.Blackwater
7:15 p.m. — Rain or Shine vs. NorthPort