PBA Governors' Cup

Simmons lives up to promise, leaves NLEX with unbeaten record after win vs Phoenix

Delfin Dioquino

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Simmons lives up to promise, leaves NLEX with unbeaten record after win vs Phoenix

QUALITY IMPORT. Jonathon Simmons helps NLEX equal its all-time best start with four straight wins to open the PBA Governors' Cup.

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Jonathon Simmons stuffs the stat sheet to help keep NLEX undefeated before leaving the team to return to the Chinese Basketball Association

RIZAL, Philippines – Jonathon Simmons is a man of his word.

Simmons delivered on his promise of ending his short but sweet NLEX stint with a win as he did most of the heavy lifting in a 98-94 victory over Phoenix in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Ynares Center on Saturday, February 4.

The former NBA player posted 38 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals to help keep the Road Warriors unbeaten after four games before leaving the team to return to the Chinese Basketball Association.

Down by twin digits in the first half, the Fuel Masters stormed back and seized a 73-70 lead before Simmons anchored a 22-3 run bridging the third and fourth quarters that allowed NLEX to equal its all-time best start.

Simmons scored 12 points during that stretch and capped it with a dunk that gave the Road Warriors their biggest lead of the game at 92-76 with four minutes left.

“I had a great experience,” said Simmons. “Unfortunate that I had to leave but it is all good.”

Phoenix mounted a last-ditch comeback and cut its deficit to just 4 points twice, but free throws from Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser and Kevin Alas inside the final 35 seconds sealed the victory for NLEX.

Tony Semerad netted 16 points and 7 rebounds, Ganuelas-Rosser tallied 14 points and 6 rebounds, while Don Trollano put up 11 points and 7 rebounds for the Road Warriors, who tied Converge for the top spot in the standings.

Alas added 9 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists in the win that gave NLEX much-needed momentum ahead of its clash against defending champion Barangay Ginebra, where it will debut new import Wayne Selden.

Du’Vaughn Maxwell once again showed the way for the Fuel Masters with 25 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 blocks in nearly 46 minutes of action.

Jason Perkins registered a double-double of 17 points and 13 rebounds in the losing effort that dropped Phoenix to 1-4.

The Scores

NLEX 98 – Simmons 38, Semerad 16, Ganuelas-Rosser 14, Trollano 11, Alas 9, Rosales 4, Anthony 3, Pascual 2, Nieto 1.

Phoenix 94 – Maxwell 25, Perkins 17, Jazul 13, Tio 11, Manganti 8, Muyang 6, Lalata 4, Garcia 4, Soyud 4, Lojera 2, Adamos 0, Alejandro 0, Serrano 0, Camacho 0.

Quarters: 32-23, 52-49, 76-73, 98-94.

– Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.