Thornton, Taulava join forces to help NLEX clobber Blackwater


By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--Al Thornton and Asi Taulava put up solid numbers as NLEX turned back Blackwater, 88-75, in an Easter Sunday PBA Commissioner's Cup match-up at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Thornton and Taulava each tallied 22 points as the Road Warriors quickly rebuilt a double-digit advantage they nearly blew early in the fourth quarter.

NLEX led, 64-48, late in the third quarter, but Blackwater charged back and came to within two, 66-68, with 9:20 left in the fourth.

Thornton then scored crucial baskets, while Taulava played more of a facilitator as the Road Warriors restored control for good.

Arth Dela Cruz came off the bench to lead the Elite with 16 points.

Box Scores:

NLEX 88-Taulava 22, Thornton 22, Anthony 15, Alas 10, J Villanueva 7, E Villanueva 4, Khobuntin 3, Lanete 3, Enciso 2. Borboran 0

Blackwater 75-Dela Cruz 16, Rhett 14, Cervantes 11, Gamalinda 8, Cortez 7, Pascual 7, Lastimosa 6, Erram 4, Sena 2, Bulawan 0, Golla 0, Reyes 0, Tiongson 0

Quarterscores: 18-12, 42-32, 66-60, 88-75

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