By Marjoe Toquillo

PHOTO: CNN Philippines

NLEX: Road Warriors copped their bus trip to semifinals after playing the final tune of Alaska’s last dance on the do-or-die quarterfinals game at 96-80 of this year’s PBA Governor’s Cup at the SMART Araneta Coliseum, Saturday.

In an exhibit of domination and strength, NLEX refused Alaska to recreate its successful survival in the tournament last Wednesday as the Road Warriors extended great heights of effort to maul the Aces by not letting even a single quarter to end with Alaska as the leading team. 

However, despite the joyous theme of the Road Warriors’ triumph, a grim tone also perimetered the court as Alaska’s defeat also signifies the end of its PBA journey after the team’s participation for 35 seasons.

For the game, NLEX proved way too much after shrugging off early jitters at the latter part of the first quarter only to claim the early axe against the aces at 21-20.

From surviving to winning, NLEX tightened their grasp for a semis seat with a superb performance in the second quarter that thickened their margin against Alaska by 15 at 46-31.

There seemed to be no hope to rise for the Aces as the Road Warriors forced themselves to complete ascendance with Cameron Clark’s unstoppable ways at the third quarter, raising the lead to 19 points at 71-52.

Alaska in the fourth quarter remained steadfast on their assertions for a win as Jeron Teng and Mark St. Fort pushed limits to recuperate greatness but was unable to stop NLEX on their fate for a semis finish, bringing the final scores to 90-86.

NLEX import Cameron Clark seemed to have become the conductor of the match who led the Road Warriors into ending the music for Alaska’s final dance with 24 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 steals.

JR Quinahan also exerted efforts for NLEX as he finished the match with 12 points while Kris Rosales also brought home with 12 points in his pocket.

After the win, NLEX will be facing Brgy. Ginebra in best-of-five semifinals games starting this Wednesday.

Edited by Jostle Doen Pilayre