Exile 40 Up downs EINZ, notches fourth win for strong elims finish

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By John Mark Herrera - Published March 4, 2020

Exile 40 Up was yet again made to sweat by an underdog in their clash against the feisty EINZ in the third game of a quadruple-header on Sunday at The Upper Deck Lifestyle Center in Ortigas, Pasig City.

Nejun Saldana scored a team-high 22 points on top of seven rebounds, team owner Joey Valencia fueled his 18 markers with six made triples, while Jayson Bondoc (15 points) and Noah Baltazar paced Exile 40 Up's inside and out game plan to eke past EINZ, 108-99.

For the second straight outing, the more experienced and towering ballclub had to dig deep in their pocket before securing the all-important win. After a 57-48 count at halftime, the high-scoring affair continued in the second half with the white shirts still in front. But despite being ahead comfortably heading into the fourth quarter, Exile 40 Up was in for an extreme challenge in the final five minutes. EINZ would trim the deficit down to a manageable margin midway payoff period.

Alarmed as the same situation had them rattled in the previous contest, this time, poise became a huge factor in securing the lead until the final buzzer. Crucial stops on the defensive end and conversions on offense bailed Exile out and eased the fiery rally from the young guns of EINZ.

Now at 4-1, Exile 40 Up has a ton of lessons to take note of and adjustments to apply as they enter the playoff stage. Key contributions from their bench and other role players, will play an important role in their bid for a title. For EINZ, all is not lost as they too, will enter the playoffs with a renewed chance of bettering their elimination round campaign and go for the more important games in the knockout stages.