The NLEX Road Warriors went full throttle in the fourth period and clobbered TNT KaTropa, 103-90, in their 2018 PBA Governors' Cup opener on Friday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
Import Olu Ashaolu was quick to make his presence felt for the Road Warriors, who set the tone at the onset. He wound up with a tour de force perofmance of 33 points, 23 rebounds, and three assists.
"I was just aggressive... Shoutout to my teammates. I got great teammates," Ashaolu said.
Mac Tallo also impressed, chipping in 16 points including a pair of 3-pointers. Larry Fonacier added 14 points including a couple of key baskets down the stretch.
Philip Paniamogan had 11 markers.
The Road Warriors opened the fourth period with an 8-0 spurt and took an 86-74 lead.
TNT gained a little momentum after that behind Jayson Castro. But five straight points by Larry Fonacier highlighted by a booming corner triple put the Road Warriors ahead by 15, 93-78, with six minutes and eight seconds remaining.
KaTropa struggled to recover from there. NLEX refused to ease on the gas pedal, with Fonacier and Mac Tallo hitting back-to-back 3-pointers that gave the Road Warriors as seemingly insurmountable 102-85 cushion with less than three minutes remaining.
Terrence Romeo was the bright spot for TNT, finishing with 27 points, five rebounds, and a pair of assists off the bench. Even his explosiveness, though, wasn't enough to get his team going.
Jayson Castro had 15 points, three rebounds, five assists, two steals, and a block, but turned the ball over five times in almost 30 minutes of play.
Import Mike Glover had an underwhelming debut for TNT. He scored a measly 11 points and grabbed 15 rebounds.
NLEX 103 - Ashaolu 33, Tallo 16, Fonacier 14, Paniamogan 11, Galanza 9, Quinahan 5, Tiongson 5, Mallari 5, Baguio 3, Miranda 2, Marcelo 0.
TNT 90 - Romeo 27, Castro 15, Pogoy 13, Glover 11, Semerad 10, Rosario 5, Williams 4, Garcia 3, Tamsi 2, Golla 0, Carey 0.
Quarterscores: 23-17, 54-45, 78-74, 103-90
Jojo Lastimosa called the shots in lieu of head coach Yeng Guiao, who is handling the Philippine team in the ongoing Asian Games in Indonesia.
Alex Mallari and Larry Fonacier returned to the NLEX fold from injuries.
Terrence Romeo dropped 11 straight points in the second period.
Former GlobalPort Mike Glover is back for his second PBA tour of duty, this time for TNT KaTropa.
NLEX - vs Magnolia on August 22 at Smart Araneta Coliseum
TNT - vs Meralco on August 19 at Ynares Center in Antipolo