PBA: NLEX scores breakthrough win at Meralco's expense

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 19) — The NLEX Road Warriors picked up their first victory in the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup after fending off the Meralco Bolts, 100-91, Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Import Tony Mitchell dropped 32 points and grabbed 20 rebounds, while Jericho Cruz finished with 16 points and six assists for the Road Warriors.

Three-point shooting catapulted NLEX to build a 23-point advantage in the third quarter.

The Road Warriors had 15 triples, while the Bolts only converted nine in the match.

A gritty Meralco side put in a valiant effort as it trimmed the decifit to as low as four points midway in the final period.

But NLEX responded with steady plays to keep the Bolts at bay and seal the win.

Gani Lawal paced Meralco with 15 points, while Chris Newsome and Nico Salva each had 14 points.

The Road Warriors now hold a 1-6 win-loss slate, while the Bolts absorbed their fifth setback in eight games.

NLEX will try to sustain its momentum when it faces Barangay Ginebra on June 23 at the Batangas City Coliseum. On the other hand, Meralco will battle the Magnolia Hotshots on June 30 in Zamboanga City.

The scores:

NLEX (100) - Mitchell 32, Cruz 16, Galanza 13, Paniamogan 8, Quinahan 7, Erram 7, Ighalo 6, Varilla 4, Lao 4, Tiongson 3, Paredes 0, Soyud 0.

Meralco (91) - Lawal 15, Newsome 14, Salva 14, Amer 13, Canaleta 10, Jackson 6, Pinto 6, Almazan 5, Caram 4, Faundo 2, Hodge 2, Hugnatan 0, Quinto 0.

Quarterscores: 27-25, 56-49, 85-70, 100-91.