NLEX, TNT open PBA Governor’s Cup campaigns with wins

By Ivan Stewart Saldajeno

January 25, 2023, 8:58 pm

MANILA – Sister teams NLEX and TNT got off to a good start to their PBA Governors' Cup campaigns after beating their opponents on Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

The Road Warriors clipped the Blackwater Bossing, 124-102, in a game where Jonathon Simmons was cleared to play at the last minute.

Simmons, whose stint with Road Warriors suddenly went into limbo because of his contract situation with the Shanxi Loongs of the Chinese Basketball Association, suited up for NLEX and led the team with 32 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and two steals.

However, Kevin Alas came alive in the fourth quarter and helped the Road Warriors pull away from the Bossing.

Alas finished with a career-high 31 points on 11-of-17 shooting, 19 in the final frame -- also a career-high -- eight rebounds and four assists off the bench.

Brandon Rosser chipped in 21 points, five rebounds, three assists, three blocks and two steals.

Shawn Glover led Blackwater with 26 points, five rebounds, seven assists, one steal and four blocks, while Ato Ular added 14 points, 11 rebounds and one assist.

In the second game, the Tropang Giga edged the Phoenix Fuel Masters, 123-119.

Behind an explosive PBA debut from Jalen Hudson, Jojo Lastimosa outplayed Jamike Jarin in the battle between debuting head coaches.

Hudson finished with 34 points on six triples, 10 rebounds, seven assists, one steal and one block, while RR Pogoy added 21 points on 9-of-11 field goals, six rebounds and one assist for TNT.

Du'Vaughn Maxwell put up 21 points, 19 rebounds, five assists and five blocks, while Jason Perkins added 20 points and four rebounds for Phoenix. (PNA)