ANTIPOLO – NLEX pulled away late and kept NorthPort luckless, 121-112, to go 2-0 in the PBA Governors’ Cup, Saturday night at the Ynares Center here.
Kevin Alas ignited the key 8-0 run towards the 112-104 lead with 3:22 left, before Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser and Sean Anthony nailed the buckets to finish off the Batang Pier, who once led by as much as 12 points early in the match.
The Road Warriors have now gained a share of leadership of the team standings with Converge and sister team TNT, whom they will face on Wednesday, February 1, 5:45 p.m. at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.
“It’s just a matter of talking to them and telling them don’t give me surprises in the game,” said head coach Frankie Lim.
Jonathon Simmons bannered NLEX with a game-high 33 points, eight rebounds, and five assists against seven turnovers.
Don Trollano supplied 23 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field. Alas contributed 18 points, five rebounds, six assists, and three steals.
Former NorthPort forward Anthony tallied 16 points and eight rebounds, while Ganuelas-Rosser added 12 markers, three boards, and two dimes in the victory that saw the Road Warriors shoot 54.1-percent from the floor.
“Just do what we’ve been practicing. Execution lang. Sabi ko, it’s all hard work in practice. It’ll give you good dividends come game time,” Lim said.
Marcus Weathers led NorthPort with 30 points, five rebounds, and four assists against six turnovers in their third loss in as many outings.
Put to naught by the defeat also was the efforts of Arvin Tolentino, who finished with 23 points, 19 of which he made in the first half.
The Batang Pier hope to end their struggles against Phoenix Super LPG on Thursday, February 2, 4:30 p.m. also in Philsports.
NLEX 121 – Simmons 33, Trollano 23, Alas 18, Anthony 16, Rosser 12, Semerad 9, Rosales 5, Nieto 3, Miranda 2, Pascual 0.
NorthPort 112 – Weathers 30, Tolentino 23, Zamar 15, Munzon 12, Calma 9, Sumang 9, Taha 7, Chan 3, Dela Cruz 2, Ayaay 2, Balagasay 0.
Quarterscores: 26-31, 63-60, 97-91, 121-112.
The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.