NLEX sends Blackwater back to earth | Inquirer Sports

NLEX sends Blackwater back to earth

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 01:26 AM February 18, 2015

NLEX import Al Thornton (left) tries to corral the rebound against Blackwater’s Jayson Ballesteros.  AUGUST DELA CRUZ

NLEX import Al Thornton (left) tries to corral the rebound against Blackwater’s Jayson Ballesteros. AUGUST DELA CRUZ

MANILA, Philippines—Getting rid of the controversial knee brace for better mobility, Al Thornton scored 24 points in the first half Tuesday night and led NLEX to a 106-79 shellacking of listless Blackwater in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The NBA veteran scored in twin digits in each of the first three periods as the Road Warriors put the Elite away early to notch their first win after four games and bring Blackwater back to earth.


Thornton finished with 39 points and 15 rebounds, with his first half output just three shy of the production of the entire Blackwater crew in that stretch.


The Elite, who chopped down big and talented Philippine Cup champion San Miguel Beer last week, 88-78, dropped to 1-4 overall.

“It’s really nice to get our first win,” NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez said. “We hope that this will be the start of something for us. We’re looking forward to our next games, where we face the top three teams.

“It will be a tough schedule, but this win gives us something positive.”

Blackwater played with a huge dip in form compared to the one it flashed against the Beermen, shooting just 11 in the first period and 27 after two quarters.

The Elite never got back in the game after closing out the half with a 27-55 deficit. NLEX zoomed to its biggest lead of 35 after the end of the third period after Thornton scored 12 points in that quarter.

Fernandez also credited a pep talk from management as one of the factors that led to the Road Warriors’ rejuvenated form.


Meanwhile, defending champion Purefoods tries to bounce back from its first loss today when the Star Hotshots tangle with KIA Motors at 7 p.m. also at the Big Dome in Cubao.

Barako Bull seeks to better its 3-1 record earlier when the Energy, also coming off their first setback, take on Globalport in the 4:15 p.m. curtain-raiser.

The scores:

First Game

NLEX 106—Thornton 39, Canaleta 9, Lingganay 9, Villanueva J. 9, Villanueva E. 9, Hermida 8, Taulava 8, Cardona 7, Ramos 4, Arboleda 2, Baloria 2, Camson 0, Borboran 0, Apinan 0, Soyud 0.

BLACKWATER 79—Faundo 17, Douthit 15, Celiz 15, Reyes 8, Heruela 7, Laure 7, Bulawan 6, Acuna 4, Canada 0, Timberlake 0, Nuyles 0, Erram 0, Gamalinda 0, Salvacion 0, Ballesteros 0.

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Quarters: 24-11, 55-27, 84-49, 106-79

TAGS: Al Thornton, Basketball, Blackwater Elite, NLEX Road Warriors, Sports

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