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Thornton explodes for 39 as NLEX dismantles Blackwater for first victory

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Import Marcus Thornton scored 39 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in a stellar performance that powered the NLEX Road Warriors to their first victory in the 2015 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, 106-79 over the Blackwater Elite, Tuesday afternoon at the Araneta Coliseum.

Powered by a tremendous 12-point start from former NBA journeyman Thornton, the Road Warriors took the early lead and led by ten by the halfway mark of the quarter, 14-4. NLEX only continued to cause the Elite to misfire, forcing them to dismal 19.2% shooting from the field. At the end of the first, the Road Warriors led by a convincing 24-11. Thornton finished with 14 points in the quarter.

The NLEX salvo continued in the second quarter, and at the sixth-minute mark a triple from Macmac Cardona put the Road Warriors up by by 20, more than double the Elite’s own output, 37-17. Dominated on both ends of the court, the Elite found themselves unable to pour out enough firepower to answer the Road Warriors’ unceasing offensive push. Thornton exploded for ten more points in the quarter to bring NLEX to a commanding 55-27 lead at halftime. The Road Warriors shot a remarkable 60.5% from the field in the first half, while holding the Elite to a disappointing 23.4%.

The Road Warriors showed no signs of faltering, and with their reinforcement still unstoppable on every part of the floor, they had their biggest lead in the game thus far, 61-27, three minutes into the third. Not even Marcus Douthit, the lone bright spot on the Elite’s stat sheet could provide the much needed spark as Thornton’s domination went on unhindered in the quarter. At the end of the third, NLEX led 84-49.

The fourth quarter saw no change in the complexion of the game, with the Road Warriors still scoring as they pleased while forcing the Elite to misfire. With NLEX’s starters getting some much deserved rest, Blackwater was able to trim the lead to the 20s late in the quarter. But with time on their side, it was the Road Warriors who walked away with the W.

Bryan Faundo led the Elite with 17 points and 6 rebounds. NLEX improves to 1-3, while Blackwater slides to 1-4 in the standings.

Scores:
NLEX
Thornton 39, Canaleta 9, Lingganay 9, Villanueva 9, Taulava 8, Hermida 8, Cardona 7, Ramos, 4, Arboleda 2

Blackwater
Faundo 17, Celiz 15, Douthit 15, Reyes 8, Hereula 7, Laure 7, Bulawan 6, Acuna 4

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