The NLEX Road Warriors halted four big plays in the last five minutes and turned the tables on the Blackwater Elite Bossings, 105-102, on Friday in the 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
American import Earl Clark erupted with a big game of 28 points and 25 rebounds as he made a difference in the fourth quarter for the Road Warriors, who moved ahead with their second straight win.
The 6’8” Clark made 10 points in the last 12 minutes of action as he got involved on both ends of the floor in the Road Warriors’ bid to hold down the Bossings.
Blackwater even enjoyed a 10-point edge off Cameron Krutwig’s layup in the last 5:21, 95-85.
But the Road Warriors held them to just to two points in the remaining time until the final 23 seconds, with their defense forcing the Bossing to two turnovers and four defensive stops, allowing them to move away on a 14-2 run.
A couple of jumpers from Clark and his assists to Justin Chua and Kevin Alas sparked the Road Warriors’ decisive run as they went on to grab a 104-97 edge.
“We have finally adopted coach (Frankie) Lim’s system. Hindi na sila bumibitaw,” said NLEX assistant coach Adonis Tierra.
Don Trollano made 18 points and eight rebounds for the Road Warriors.
Baser Amer fired 26 points for the Bossings, who now have a 1-2 win-loss record.
Krutwig made 18 points and had six apiece with Renato Ular in the third as the Bossings stayed in front by nine, 81-72, going into the fourth quarter.