PBA: NLEX defense makes up for offensive woes in latest win

Jonathan Simmons NLEX Road Warriors


MANILA, Philippines—Coach Frankie Lim praised NLEX’s defense following its win over Phoenix on Saturday to stay undefeated in the PBA Governors’ Cup.

Lim, however, couldn’t feel the same about the Road Warriors’ offensive performance.

“Tonight, I’m not very happy with our offense. We scored below 100 and I think we should get more points from Kevin (Alas), (Don) Trollano, even (Sean) Anthony and Brandon (Ganuelas-Rosser),” said Lim after a 98-94 victory over Phoenix.

Alas, who has been a scoring juggernaut for Lim, only scored nine points on 3-of-10 shooting from the field, including 0-of-3 from long range. He did have eight rebounds and three assists.

Sean Anthony also struggled, missing six of his seven attempts to finish with three points while Don Trollano had 11 points on 11 attempts.

Fortunately for NLEX, its defense made up for its shortcomings in offense.

“I think our zone did well tonight. We made a lot of stops, made a good run and again, I want them to enjoy our type of basketball,” said Lim.

The Road Warriors’ zone defense forced the Fuel Masters to chuck up 17 3-points and make only five for just 29 percent.

And while several of NLEX’s locals weren’t as sharp as they wanted to be, Jonathon Simmons was in his usual form to carry much of the offensive burden.

The former NBA veteran collected 38 points, seven rebounds and five assists to lead NLEX to a 4-0 start in his final act as the Road Warriors’ import.

Simmons, who shot 57 percent from the field and had two steals, is returning to China in the Chinese Basketball Association.

“I had a great experience, found a great group of guys and a good coaching staff. I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity. It’s unfortunate I have to leave but it’s all good,” Simmons said.

“I wouldn’t hesitate to come back and play for coach Frankie,” he added.