NLEX relied on the briliant, all-around game of import KJ McDaniels to overhaul a 22-point deficit and escape with a 109-100 win in overtime over Rain or Shine in the PBA Governors’ Cup basketball tournament at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
McDaniels finished with 35 points, including 15 in the third quarter alone, and 12 rebounds to power the Road Warriors to their second straight victory and a 7-3 win-loss record.
McDaniel’s heroics included a pressure-laden turnaround jumper that tied the score at 97-all with 4.4 seconds left to send the game into overtime.
But it was not all McDaniels for NLEX.
Kevin Alas added 15 points and JR Quinahan and Jericho Cruz contributed 13 points apiece for the Road Warriors, who battled back from a 32-54 deficit in the second quarter with a strong third-quarter performance.
“We started out badly. We were giving up offensive rebounds all game long. But we were able to pull it off in overtime. That’s a testament to the character of the team. We can really win in different ways,” said NLEX coach Yeng Guiao after the game.
“Rain or Shine was shooting really well. For a while, we had no solution to Walker and Nambatac. Pinahirapan kami ng husto,” Guiao added.
Walker led Rain or Shine with 28 points, followed by Nambatac with 27 and Javee Mocon with 11.
With its third straight setback, Rain or Shine dropped to 3-6 overall.
Meanwhile, NorthPort tries to make it three wins in a row when it takes on unpredictable Phoenix Super LPG in the featured match at 6:30 p.m.
After a dismal 0-5 start, the Batang Pier bounced back into contention by bringing down two unbeaten teams — Meralco and Magnolia.
The Pido Jarencio-mentored Batang Pier will now go for their third straight win against the Fuel Masters.
“I think yung character ng team lumalabas na,” said Jarencio, whose team won despite playing without top gunner Robert Bolick and Kevin Ferrer.
“Eto na ang mantra natin — talagang palaban na tayo going to the second phase (of the elims),” he added.
NLEX (109) — McDaniels 35, Alas 15, Quinahan 13, Cruz 13, Soyud 9, Rosales 9, Trollano 5, Nieto 4, Paniamogan 3, Ighalo 3, Varilla 0, Magat 0.
Rain or Shine (100) — Walker 28, Nambatac 27, Mocon 11, Santillan 8, Torres 7, Nieto 6, Borboran 4, Jackson 3, Guinto 3, Norwood 3, Asistio 0.
Quarterscores: 23-31, 38-55, 70-72, 97-97, 109-100.
4 p.m. — Alaska vs. Meralco
6:30 p.m. — Phoenix vs. NorthPort