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NLEX taps NBA veteran


A National Basketball Association veteran will be coming over to power NLEX in the Governors’ Cup of the Philippine Basketball Association.

Road Warriors team executive Ronald Dulatre informed Daily Tribune that they will be bringing in Jonathon Simmons as import with the hopes of winning their first PBA crown in the season-ending conference.

Now being handled by Frankie Lim, the Road Warriors missed out the playoffs of the ongoing Commissioner’s Cup when they lost to their former mentor Yeng Guiao and Rain or Shine in the sudden-death quarterfinal battle.

With Simmons on board, NLEX has a golden opportunity to turn its fortunes around.

Listed as 6-foot-6, Simmons gained the reputation as an explosive scorer who played for Philadelphia, San Antonio and Orlando.

He was a former Most Valuable Player in the NBA Summer League championship game while playing for the Spurs seven years ago. His performance earned him a roster spot for the Spurs, allowing him to play under noted mentor Gregg Popovich for three seasons.

As a member of the Spurs, Simmons had breakthrough performance when he scored 20 points in a 129-100 victory over the Golden State Warriors.

He also stepped up to fill in the shoes vacated by the injured Kawhi Leonard on 11 May 2017 and had his first playoff start, scoring 18 points in a 114-75 bashing of the Houston Rockets in the second round of the playoffs.

He transferred to the Magic the following season where he established new personal highs, posting 35 points in a 126-117 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on 14 March 2018.

Throughout his NBA playing career, Simmons had averages of 8.3 points on 31.7 percent shooting from beyond the arc.

Over the past two years, Simmons played for the Lianoning Flying Leopards and the Shianxi Loongs in the Chinese Basketball League.

He averaged 18.3 points on 40.4 percent shooting from the three-point region while playing for the Loongs.

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