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Nlex Slips Past Ginebra In Ot
PBA.ph, Friday, 12-Feb-2016

Al Thornton scattered 50 points in his PBA comeback, and NLEX won its first assignment in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup with a 114-112 overtime triumph over Barangay Ginebra Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

A legitimate former NBA player who once averaged 16 points in a season in the majors, Thornton sizzled with 16-of-31 field shooting and 16-of-20 free throws to lead the Road Warriors past a Ginebra side minus Greg Slaughter.

Already without their big man who’s down with measles, the Gin Kings became crippled all the more on the early exit of Japeth Aguilar and Chris Ellis on fouls.

“We’re lucky they’re without Greg Slaughter then we rode high on the exploits of Thornton. Wala nang iba, yon lang yon,” said NLEX coach Boyet Fernandez.


“We had doubt on his ability to play this conference because he has just undergone a stem cell treatment. It’s all on Al. It’s his fighting spirit kaya nakalaro agad siya,” Fernandez also said.

It’s Thornton’s second 50-point game versus Ginebra as he also put the same output in their game last year.

The game went into OT at 97-all as Mark Caguioa misfired a three-pointer at the buzzer.

Caguioa himself tied the count on two free throws with 17.5 ticks to go, then the Road Warriors blew their own crack at winning the game in regulations on a poor play by Thornton.

Drawing firepower from almost everybody, the Gin Kings led by as many as 13, 51-38, early on before closing the opening half at 51-41.

NLEX banked heavily on Thornton who scattered 21 points but didn’t get much help from his teammates in the first 24 minutes of play.

The Road Warriors logged only three assists and committed 11 turnovers in that distance.

The Kings won practically on all fronts of the game, outrebounding the Road Warriors, 25-22, and shooting much better with a 49-percent field clip.

But with help finally coming along, the Road Warriors surged ahead, 73-69, in the third period.

The Kings were held scoreless in a five-minute stretch, snapping out of it on two free throws by Othyus Jeffers on a flagrant foul by Enrico Villanueva.

Another pair of charities by Jeffers with four ticks to go in the third forged a tie at 73.

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