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NLEX bounces back with a gritty win over Converge in PBA Governors Cup

4 min read

NLEX Road Warriors get back on track with a 116-112 win over Converge FiberXers in a nail-biting game in the PBA Governors Cup on Saturday, February 18, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Road Warriors were without three key players, Sean Anthony, Matt Nieto, and Mike Miranda due to injuries, but they fought hard to end their two-game losing streak and secure their first win since the departure of original import Jonathon Simmons.

Wayne Selden Jr. led the way for NLEX with 35 points, while Kevin Alas poured in a personal season-high 31 points, including an 18-point explosion in the fourth quarter, to seal the victory.

DEBUT WIN. New NLEX Road Warriors import Wayne Selden Jr. shines in his PBA Governor’s Cup debut as he leads his team to a 116-112 victory over Converge FiberXers at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Saturday, February 18. PBA PHOTOS

Kris Rosales contributed 17 points, three rebounds, and three assists, while Anthony Semerad had 16 points and four rebounds, and Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser added 10 points and seven rebounds.

Despite a 53-point performance from Jamaal Franklin and a 22-point backup job from Mav Ahanmisi, the FiberXers fell to their second loss in their last three games.

Franklin had a remarkable shooting performance, nailing nine three-pointers, while Ahanmisi went 4-of-6 from deep.

Road Warriors head coach Frankie Lim said, “They displayed a different level of effort. Thankfully, we have Kevin Alas. It was a huge factor that we were short on players because of injury and even my rotation was changed.”

“Good win for us. We’re 5-2, but we need more wins,” Lim added.

Converge FiberXers suffered from the early fouls that led to the ouster of key players, opening an opportunity for the Road Warriors to claw back into the game.

NLEX patiently waited for the right time to strike, and their persistence paid off in the end.

Alas, for his part, said: “Just huge credit to the system of coach (Frankie). Everybody stepped up today and it’s our first win with Wayne. We’re motivated to give him his first win.”

Wayne replaced NLEX’s former import Jonathon Simmons two meetings ago.

The game was closely contested, with Converge leading by 12 points early on. However, the Road Warriors mounted a comeback, and with an 11-3 closing salvo fueled by Alas, Semerad, and Selden, they sealed the win.

DEBUT WIN. New NLEX Road Warriors import Wayne Selden Jr. shines in his PBA Governor’s Cup debut as he leads his team to a 116-112 victory over Converge FiberXers at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Saturday, February 18. PBA PHOTOS

The Road Warriors finally seized the lead at 113-109 on a 13-2 run by Semerad and Alas, capped by an Alas triple with 38 seconds left.

Franklin hit his last three-pointer, but it was not enough as Alas and Selden combined for three free throws to secure NLEX’s escape in a tight finish.

The win pulled NLEX Road Warriors and Converge FiberXers into a tie for third place in the PBA Governors Cup eliminations at 5-2.

The Road Warriors showed their grit and resilience in this game, and with their full lineup back in action soon, they will be a force to be reckoned with in the upcoming games.

The boxscores:

NLEX 116 – Selden Jr. 35, Alas 31, Rosales 17, Semerad 16, Ganuelas-Rosser 10, Doliguez 3, Gabo 2, Trollano 2, Paniamogan 0, Pascual 0.

Converge 112 – Franklin 53, Ahanmisi 22, Racal 10, Arana 8, Teng 7, Tratter 5, Ebona 4, Stockton 2, Balanza 1, Murrell 0.

Quarters: 23-28, 48-52, 80-80, 116-112.

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