MANILA, Philippines – NLEX is currently only concerned with getting the most out of import Jonathan Simmons, whether he stays or leaves.
Following a 124 to 102 drubbing of Blackwater on Wednesday, which saw the club start its PBA Governors’ Cup campaign on a high note, Road Warriors captain Kevin Alas described the team’s condition in that way.
Alas told the Inquirer shortly after scoring an all-time-personal-high 31 points and cheering on the Road Warriors at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, “If he just plays four games, we’ll try to gain all the wins that we can get during that period. He might leave us, or he can remain.”
In the second game, TNT managed to hold its composure down the line to defeat Phoenix 123 to 119.
With 34 points, 10 rebounds, and 7 assists to his credit, Jalen Hudson led the Tropang Giga.
‘He’s NBA material. And previously, everyone present observed that. We’re just trying to maintain our composure because events like that are unavoidable and out of our control. The soft-spoken Alas praised Simmons, who secured a lucrative contract in China before NLEX’s campaign, saying, “We all just have to produce.”
The NBA veteran finished with 32 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists to go along with Alas’ outstanding performance. He played his greatest basketball when playing for the San Antonio Spurs.
The two played a big role in the decisive frame, scoring a combined 29 points to help NLEX defeat the opposition 40 to 21.
NLEX coach Frankie Lim stated of Simmons, who apparently received permission from a Chinese club to continue playing for the Road Warriors just hours before the game, “I was quite optimistic he could play.”
“I like Simmons because he is honest with me, and I really enjoyed that, ” Lim continued. I suggested to him that he finish out his contract here first; if he can, he might be able to help us win four games before leaving when he claimed he had to move to China to play.”
Simmons responded by saying that NLEX supporters may look forward to seeing him in the team’s upcoming game against NorthPort in Antipolo City. But he was unsure of how long he would stay with the Road Warriors. “As I was told before, there is a chance he’ll stay longer, therefore I can’t stop him because there is a significant financial benefit at risk,” the speaker said.
He did acknowledge the talent of his squad, even going so far as to offer advice on how to advance in the conference that would conclude the season.
Based on the recent matches, he says that the team’s defense will definitely improve and evolve. Harmony is the key to such team growth and adjustment, with all the talents and downsides included.
With the help of the returning Shawn Glover and the natives Baser Amer and Yousef Taha, who are now physically fit, Blackwater managed to fight for the first three quarters. All of them, including the young Ato Ular, finished in the double digits.