New import and NBA veteran Jonathan Simmons quickly got comfortable with the NLEX Road Warriors as they repulsed the Blackwater Elite Bossings, 124-102, for their first win in the Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.
The 6’6” Simmons, an NBA journeyman, who last played for the Shanxi Loongs in the Chinese Basketball Association, complemented Kevin Alas’ game, and their partnership in the last period allowed the Road Warriors to finish with a 22-point blowout.
The 33-year-old Simmons, who was cleared to play for the league only last Tuesday, had 32 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists.
He also let Alas take over in the payoff fourth as the former Letran Knight finished with a career-high 31 markers, to go with eight rebounds and four assists.
Simmons’ presence drew praises from coach Frankie Lim, who said the American cager from Houston, Texas and was a former San Antonio Spur, is a great one.
“I was really confident that he will play. It was a big push for us. Simmons is not a good player, but a great player. He knows how to play, he knows how to pass, and when to make his shots. Suwerte kami sa kanya,” said Lim.
Alas’ great showing eclipsed his previous high of 30, which he did when the Road Warriors played Magnolia last year in Game 2 of their best-of-3 quarterfinals finals in 2022 Philippine Cup.
The 6’2” Alas was at his best in the fourth period, knocking in 19 points.
Alas hit nine points in the last 3:53, allowing the Road Warriors to move away after the Bossings, closed in at 96-100. His baskets touched off a 15-4 blast, handing NLEX a 115-100 spread.
NLEX 124 – Simmons 32, Alas 31, Ganuelas-Rosser 21, Semerad 15, Nieto 12, Gabo, Pascual 3, Trollano 3, Anthony 2, Miranda 0
BLACKWATER 102 – Glover 26, Ular 14, Amer 13, Taha 13, Suerte 9, Ilagan 8, McCarthy 5, Banal 4, Casio 3, Sena 3, Escoto 2, Torralba 2, Hill 0, DiGregorio 0
QUARTERS: 26-22, 58-56, 84-81, 124-102