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Simmons’ 45 tows NLEX to come-from-behind win vs TNT

February 2 ------ NLEX pulled the rug underneath TNT, 110-108, to remain perfect in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.

Kevin Alas provided the stabilizing presence the Road Warriors needed on offense in the final 1:12, and Sean Anthony came through on the defensive end as he stopped Roger Pogoy’s potential game-tying bucket in the dying seconds. Their efforts preserved the gritty fourth-quarter comeback spearheaded by import Jonathon Simmons, whose three-point play conversion sparked a 10-0 run en route to a 104-98 lead with under four minutes left to play. “We never got rattled as a group. Every time they kept making their runs, we never were too up or too low. We stayed composed throughout the whole game and just started to finish possessions in the second half,” said Simmons.

Simmons starred with 45 points, including 18 in the third quarter alone, on 50-percent shooting from the field and 12 rebounds in the triumph that enabled NLEX to tie fellow 3-0 team Converge on top of the team standings. Anthony finished with 15 points and six rebounds, carrying over his fine play from their win versus Phoenix that saw him post 16 and eight. Alas registered 13 points, including the Road Warriors’ last four points as he kept the comebacking Tropang Giga at bay by his lonesome. “It’s composure,” said head coach Frankie Lim. “They were up so many times by more than 10 points, and during timeouts, I told them, ‘You guys are okay. You’re looking good. You suck, but they’re just up by 10 points.'”

NLEX will face Phoenix Super LPG next on Saturday, 4:40 p.m., at the Ynares Center in Antipolo in what will also be Simmons’ last game.

Jalen Hudson, meanwhile, led TNT with 39 points — 21 in the first quarter alone — and 10 rebounds against seven turnovers in the loss. Pogoy finished with 21 points while Glenn Khobuntin and Jayson Castro chipped in 10 each in the defeat that snapped their two-game win streak. The Tropang Giga actually led 85-70 during the third canto and were up 12, 96-84, barely three minutes into in the final period, until the Simmons and the Road Warriors unfurled a blistering 20-2 run to take the lead for good.

Another tough challenge awaits TNT as it is set to battle a redemption-seeking Magnolia (0-1) on Friday, 5:45 p.m. also at the Ynares Antipolo.

The Scores:

NLEX 110 – Simmons 45, Anthony 15, Alas 13, Semerad 10, Trollano 9, Rosales 8, Nieto 7, Ganuelas-Rosser 3, pascual 0, Gabo 0.

TNT 108 – Hudson 39, Pogoy 21, Khobuntin 10, Castro 10, Montalbo 6, Tungcab 5, Ganuelas-Rosser 4, Chua 3, K.Williams 2, M.Williams 2, Varilla 2, Marcelo 0.

Quarterscores: 28-31, 49-56, 78-91, 110-108.


Editor's note:

In the first game, the San Miguel Beermen sent Blackwater Bossing crashing back to earth following a 105-86 rout. Leading the Beermen in scoring were Jericho Cruz 22, Cameron Clark 20, Junemar Fajardo 17, CJ Perez 14 and Marcio Lassiter with 13.


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