Raul Soyud drained a conference-high 19 points for the NLEX Road Warriors, who smothered the NorthPort Batang Pier, 109-95, on Friday to secure its place in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
Soyud struck during crucial moments in the first and last quarters, as the Road Warriors clinched the sixth seed in quarterfinals with their sixth triumph in 11 outings.
Calvin Oftana and Don Trollano knocked in 18 and 16 points, respectively, for the Road Warriors, who moved into a possible showdown with either Ginebra or Magnolia in the first round of their best-of-three playoffs.
“Itong game namin, it assured us of a sixth-place finish. This will keep us from being in seventh and eighth place, na mahirap,” said Road Warriors’ coach Yeng Guiao.
Soyud’s two charities in the final 5:47 handed the Road Warriors their biggest lead at 27, 103-76.
He had six points with Philip Paniamogan in the first quarter as the Road Warriors moved away immediately. The 6’6” Soyud joined hands with Paniamogan and Anthony Semerad in unleashing a 20-9 blast and helping theWarriors take a 28-16 spread.
JM Calma made 21 points for Batang Pier, who now have a 3-8 slate.
Oftana made nine points, while Trollano eked out eight in the second, with their triples in last 1:27 putting the Road Warriors out of range by 21 points, 57-36.
Semerad scored eight in the third, with his trey with 10:57 to go in the third allowing the Road Warriors to hold on to their 21-point lead, 63-42.