Jonathon Simmons continued to stamp his pedigree, leading NLEX to a grindout 121-112 victory over NorthPort in the 2023 PBA Governors’ Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo on Saturday, Jan. 28.
The former NBA player finished with 33 points including timely hits towards the endgame while also getting contributions from the rest of his supporting cast in Sean Anthony, Don Trollano and Kevin Alas to keep the Batang Pier at bay.
Simmons also added eight rebounds and five assists and spearheaded an 8-0 telling run that seemed to have taken the wind out of the Batang Pier’s sails after the Road Warriors created the separation from a 104-all deadlock.
Alas, who also starred in NLEX’s winning debut, ignited the rally with a layup before Simmons nailed a tough fadeaway jumper. Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser, saddled by foul trouble and all, then scored on a putback before Trollano nailed a jumper off a broken play to establish a 112-104 advantage which the Road Warriors managed to protect the rest of the way.
Alas provided support to Simmons with 18 points, five rebounds and six assists while Trollano dropped 23 points. Anthony, despite shadowing NorthPort import Marcus Weathers on the defensive end, still had the energy to muster 16 points while Ganuelas-Rosser contributed 12.
Arvin Tolentino kept NorthPort afloat in the first half, scattering 19 of his 23 points while Weathers dropped 30 points in another losing effort. Paul Zamar finished with 15 points, stepping up in the continuous absence of Batang Pier star Robert Bolick whose contract extension is still in negotiation with the management.