MANILA, Philippines—NLEX banked on Anthony Semerad to gain the come-from-behind win over TNT in the PBA On Tour, 97-84, at San Juan Arena on Wednesday.
After being down by as much as 22 in the second quarter, 39-17, the Road Warriors rode on a momentous performance from Semerad, who finished with 23 points, to improve to 5-5 in the preseason stint.
“We had a bad start, we were soft and TNT’s triples were going in as well so I asked my players to be patient and stick to what we’re doing and slowly we bounced back,” said coach Frankie Lim in Filipino.
“My rotation also got better with him (Semerad) around so it was a big help [for us].”
Semerad scored 15 of his 23 in the third quarter to go along with three rebounds and a steal while shooting a blistering 56.3 percent clip from the field. He also sank five triples.
Because of the big man’s effort in the third, Tropang Giga faced just six-point deficit heading into the payoff period, 68-74.
Lim’s wards then doubled down on the defensive end to avoid any type of comeback from TNT, limiting the opposition to only 16 fourth quarter points.
The Road Warriors tallied 13 steals and 11 blocks as a team, resulting in 18 team turnovers for Tropang Giga.
Clint Doliguez and Don Trollano helped big on the NLEX offense in the victory with 16 points a piece. Kevin Alas had only 14 to his name but made a huge impact on defense with five steals.
Carl Bryan Cruz spearheaded TNT, which dropped to a 1-9 card, with 26 markers in a losing effort. Glenn Khobuntin, meanwhile, tallied a double-double of 24 markers and 10 boards but it was all for naught.