NLEX outruns Ginebra behind Thornton’s career-high
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – In an incredibly fast-paced up and down game, the NLEX Road Warriors had enough legs and ammunition to outrun Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 96-90, as the 2015 PBA Commissioner’s Cup continued Wednesday, March 11 at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
Import Al Thornton carried the Road Warriors, who trailed by double-figures for the majority of the game, with a career-high 50 points as they won their third straight game and rose to 4-4 in the standings.
“I was definitely surprised,” Thornton, who had just 2 points in the opening period, said of his sizzling performance. “Credit to my teammates for giving me the ball. It was a total team effort. We’ve been playing well on both ends, and sharing the ball.”
Thornton, who also had 18 rebounds, gave NLEX the lead for the first time, 83-82, on a difficult turnaround jumper with under 4 minutes remaining.
He then managed to convert another off-balanced shot to give NLEX a 91-83 advantage with 1:51 to play. Ginebra tried to recover from the shock of Thornton’s sudden explosion but the in-rhythm import hit the dagger three-pointer with 36 seconds left, 96-88, to put the game away.
“They gave their all even though we were down by 14 points in the first half,” said head coach Boyet Fernandez.
No other Road Warrior finished in double figures as Jonas Villanueva and Asi Taulava chipped in 9 and 8 points, respectively. Taulava added 16 rebounds and two blocks.
Ginebra, which fell to 4-4, got 23 points and 7 rebounds from import Mike Dunigan, as well as 21 markers and 18 boards from local big man Greg Slaughter.
LA Tenorio and Japeth Aguilar provided the necessary spark off the bench with 20 and 10 points, respectively, but it wasn’t enough as the Gin Kings committed a pair of crucial turnovers during the Road Warriors’ endgame rally. – Rappler.com