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Super 8: NLEX bows to ETLand, finishes in fourth place

MACAU -- NLEX lost out against a determined ETLand of the Korean Basketball League club, 67-62, and settled for fourth place at the 2018 Asia League Summer Super 8 on Sunday at the Macao East Asian Games Dome.

The Road Warriors dominated the boards by a mile, 61-40, as Asi Taulava played his best game against the Korean squad, while joining forces with Michael Miranda and JR Quinahan at the paint.

Kim Sang Kyu knocked down a 3-pointer just less than eight minutes into the third period to give ETLand its biggest lead at 45-29. NLEX countered with its own 13-0 run to narrow the gap in a three-minute span.

The Elephants refused to wilt under pressure, relying on a balanced scoring attack to hold off the Road Warriors' rally in the second half.

The Korean squad shot just 28 percent from the floor overall (19-of-67) but managed to get four players to score in double figures led by Jeong Hyo Geun's 13 points and Hong Gyeong Ki's 12.

Jung Young Sam and Kim Sang Kyu chipped in 11 points apiece to help ETLand salvage second runner-up in this eight-team, four-nation tournament.

Miranda led NLEX with 12 points, to go along with nine rebounds, before getting ejected for incurring two unsportsmanlike fouls towards the end of the game.

Taulava had a double-double of 11 points and 13 rebounds, while Juami Tiongson also chipped in 12. JR Quinahan was the other NLEX player to score in double figures with 10 and five boards.

Speedy guard Mark Tallo, who shot 16 in NLEX's tough loss to Gyangzhou Long Lions in the crossover semis, was held down to just five markers on a poor 2-of-10 shooting from the floor.

The scores:

ETLAND 67 - Jeong HG 13, Hong 12, Kim SK 11, Jung 11, Kim NH 6, Jeong BK 5, Park BJ 5, Park SJ 4, Choi 0, Kim JN 0, Lim 0.

NLEX 62 - Miranda 12, Tiongson 12, Taulava 11, Quinahan 10, Ighalo 7, Tallo 5, Baguio 2, Gotladera 2, Marcelo 1, Buenafe 0, Monfort 0, Uyloan 0.

Quarters: 15-12, 34-27, 53-46, 67-62.