NLEX keeps playoff hopes alive with win over Rain or Shine

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The NLEX Road Warriors kept their quarterfinal hopes alive with a resounding 94-74 rout of the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup on Wednesday at the AUF Sports Arena and Cultural Center in Pampanga.

After a tight first half, Kevin Alas and Jericho Cruz came off the bench and gave the Road Warriors a lift, especially in the second half where they gained some separation.

NLEX held a 64-59 lead early in the fourth quarter when Cruz nailed two straight triples to bring their lead to 11, 70-59. Rain or Shine pulled to within six but a three-pointer by Paul Varilla and another deuce by Cruz put NLEX up by double-figures once again, 77-66.

Cebuano JR Quiñahan, Anthony Semerad and Kiefer Ravena then shot in a trifecta each to give NLEX a 90-74 lead with just 2:06 left.

Alas scored 18 points while Cruz had 17 markers. Quiñahan finished with 13 points as NLEX improved to 3-5 (win-loss).

Rey Nambatac scored 15 points for Rain or Shine which fell to 4-2. (JNP)