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NLEX makes it rain from three to end Blackwater’s playoff hopes


Miles Morales

NLEX shot the lights out Sunday to put an end on Blackwater’s playoff hopes in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup.

Philip Paniamogan, Bong Galanza and Kenneth Ighalo led a three-point barrage by the Road Warriors that puts them to a 122-101 victory over the Elite at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The trio connibed for 16 of NLEX’s total 21 triples that boosted them to as much as a 29-point spread en route to a second straight lopsided win.

Now with a 4-5 slate overall, the Road Warriors climbed up to seventh-running spot and can officially lay claim to one of the four remaining berths in the last eight if they rack up more wins against Barangay Ginebra on Saturday and Magnolia Ang Pambansang Manok on April 3.

Paniamogan put up a career-high-tying 25 points, Galanza scored 18 and Ighalo also went added 17 points.

Despite tweaking his left knee that forced his sidelining late in the third period, Poy Erram was able to finish the game with with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Juami Tiongson, meanwhile, added 13 points and a gamehigh 11 assists.

The loss was the Elite’s eighth in 10 games, making it the first team to officially bow out of the race to the quarterfinals.

Allein Maliksi paced the Elite with 20 points. Mike Digregorio added 17.