THE NLEX Road Warriors administered the final rites on the Alaska Milk Aces' participation in the Philippine Basketball Association. The Road Warriors booked just their second Final Four entry in the PBA while ending Alaska's farewell tour with an empathic 96-80 victory in their knockout duel in the PBA Governors' Cup quarterfinals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Saturday night.
Cameron Clark shrugged off a cut on his forehead from an elbow by Jeron Teng and helped NLEX in a second-quarter breakaway en route to the win that punched their way to the semis against the Barangay Ginebra Kings.
The Road Warriors bounced back from a disappointing loss Wednesday and thus claimed the last spot in the PBA Governors' Cup Final Four joining top seed Magnolia, No. 4 Meralco and No. 6 Barangay Ginebra.
NLEX and Ginebra open their best-of-five semifinals at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Mall od Asia Arena.
Alaska is out of it and out of the PBA, bidding the league farewell after a 16-point beating at the hands of NLEX.
The Aces took the exit in the league after 35 memorable years of participation marked by 14 championships including a grand slam in 1996.
The Road Warriors ended the Aces' run as they pressed their own bid and clinched a semis entry on coach Yeng Guiao's 63rd birthday.
It's NLEX's second semis passage in franchise history or first since making the 2018 Philippine Cup Final Four against Talk n' Text.
Clark and his teammates just won't be denied with their mammoth effort, including a defensive juggernaut holding Mark Saint Fort scoreless and Alaska to mere 31 points in the first half.
The Road Warriors surged to a 46-31 lead at the half on an 18-of-39 field clip as against Alaska's 8-of-35.
And there's just no stopping the Road Warriors from making the semis against the Gin Kings. (SB)
NLEX 96 - Clark 24, Quinahan 12, Rosales 12, Chua 10, Nieto 10, Trollano 9, Alas 7, Soyud 7, Varilla 3, Ighalo 2, Murrell 0, Paniamogan 0, Semerad 0.
Alaska 80 - Saint Fort 14, Teng 13, DiGregorio 11, Tolomia 11, Bulanadi 8, Taha 8, Tratter 6, Ilagan 5, Ahanmisi 4, , Racal 0, Faundo 0.
Quarters: 21-20, 46-31, 71-52, 96-80. PBA
(Photo credits to: PBA)