Kevin Alas put on the finishing touches to the rally ignited by Jonathon Simmons as NLEX edged out TNT with a come-from-behind 110-104 victory in the 2023 PBA Governors’ Cup at the PhilSports Arena on Wednesday, Feb. 1.
Alas scored on two huge layups inside the final minute to keep the Tropang Giga at bay as the Road Warriors completed a 15-point comeback behind another splendid show from Simmons to stay perfect through three games.
The former NBA import actually kept NLEX afloat in the second half before triggering the massive fourth quarter turnaround when he put the clamps on TNT import Jalen Hudson in the final frame.
Simmons, playing for his penultimate game for the Road Warriors, dropped 45 points – 18 of which came in the third quarter - and 12 rebounds while Alas, after being limited to a measly three points in the first three quarters, unloaded 10 points in the final period including the two huge layups over bigger defenders to keep a 110-106 lead.
After allowing Kelly Williams to pull TNT closer with a putback layup, NLEX tightened up its defense in the last possession with 5.1 seconds left to force RR Pogoy to miss a well-challenged layup.
Sean Anthony also turned back the hands of the clock with 15 points and six rebounds as he also proved to be a catalyst to the telling 20-2 run in the final frame, turning a 12-point deficit 84-96 into a 104-98 advantage with 3:27 left.
Hudson paced TNT with 39 points – 21 of which he scored in the first quarter before he was limited to just six by Simmons’ defense in the payoff period.
Pogoy added 21 points while Jayson Castro and Glen Khobutin added 10 apiece but were not enough to pick up the scoring cudgels from the struggling Mikey Williams who only finished with two points despite playing for 34 minutes on the court.