PBA Governors' Cup

McDaniels dominates as Meralco levels semis vs TNT with OT win

Delfin Dioquino

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McDaniels dominates as Meralco levels semis vs TNT with OT win

DETERMINED. KJ McDaniels leads Meralco to a gutsy win over TNT.

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KJ McDaniels turns in a near 40-20 performance as Meralco redeems itself against TNT after getting blown out by 30 points in Game 1

ANTIPOLO, Philippines – KJ McDaniels put Meralco on his back and powered a semifinals-tying 124-117 overtime win over TNT in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Ynares Center on Sunday, March 26.

McDaniels exploded for a season-high 39 points with 20 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 3 steals as the Bolts redeemed themselves after getting blown out by a whopping 30 points in Game 1 to knot the best-of-five series at 1-1.

While McDaniels did most of the heavy lifting in regulation, Meralco leaned on its locals, particularly Cliff Hodge and Aaron Black, in the extra period to hand the Tropang Giga their first defeat after 10 consecutive wins.

Hodge hit his head on the floor following a bad fall late in the fourth quarter, but he set the tone in overtime by scoring 4 straight points for a 116-114 edge.

Black then took over, going on a personal 6-0 run to give his side a 122-114 advantage with two minutes remaining that paved the way for the Bolts’ win as he finished with 28 points, 10 assists, and 5 rebounds.

Hodge added 15 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 steals.

TNT import Rondae Hollis-Jefferson fell just a dime short of a third straight triple-double as he tallied 27 points, 15 rebounds, 9 assists, and 2 blocks, but he ran out of steam after playing nearly 46 minutes.

Hollis-Jefferson blew his chance of winning it for the Tropang Giga in regulation after splitting his free throws with six ticks left as the game went to an extra period.

The Scores

Meralco 124 – McDaniels 39, Black 28, Hodge 15, Maliksi 11, Quinto 11, Banchero 7, Newsome 5, Caram 3, Jose 3, Almazan 2.

TNT 117 – M.Williams 29, Hollis-Jefferson 27,Castro 17, Oftana 13, Pogoy 12, Chua 11, Erram 6, Marcelo 2, Khobuntin 0, Varilla 0, Montalbo 0.

Quarters: 35-30, 59-49, 86-86, 112-112 (reg.), 124-117 (OT).

– Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.