Led by Al Thornton, the Northern Luzon Expressway (NLEX) bounced back from a 21-point deficit to beat Philippine Cup champion San Miguel Beer, 100-93, on Wednesday in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 40 Commissioners Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.
Thornton notched 12 of his 30 points in the last six minutes in addition to 12 rebounds. He remains unrelenting in the fourth period scoring a crucial jumper and two free throws in the last two-minute mark to seal the team’s second win. NLEX improved its win-loss record to 2-4.
“Credit to my boys who played huge in the second half. We made stops that why we won this game,” said NLEX head coach Boyet Fernandez. “In the first half, we allowed SMB to play their thing. But everything changed when we went zone in the second half.”
Veteran center Paul Asi Taulava finished with 20 points, playmaker Jonas Villanueva had 15 points while Mac Cardona added nine points for the Road Warriors, who trailed behind by 21 points (64-43) in the middle of third quarter before they were able to bounce back.
The Road Warriors outclassed the Beermen in the fourth quarter, 42-18.
SMB import Arizona Reid, who replaced original import Ronald Robertson, led his team with 27 points while Arwind Santos finished with 20 points.
SMB’s win-loss record fell to 1-5. JOSEF T. RAMOS