PBA Governors' Cup

McDaniels, Meralco halt Magnolia streak with Hester in grind-out win

Delfin Dioquino
McDaniels, Meralco halt Magnolia streak with Hester in grind-out win

DOGFIGHT. Meralco edges Magnolia in a battle of elite defensive teams.

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KJ McDaniels posts a double-double and hits a bunch of clutch foul shots to lift Meralco to its second straight win

MANILA, Philippines – Meralco dealt Magnolia its first loss with Antonio Hester and escaped with an 86-84 win between two of the best defensive teams in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Sunday, February 26.

KJ McDaniels posted a 19-point, 15-rebound double-double and hit a bunch of clutch foul shots to lift the Bolts to their second straight win and fifth overall in nine games as they climbed to solo sixth place.

McDaniels hit three of four free throws inside the last 30 seconds to key the victory that denied the Hotshots of extending their sterling run with Hester since he replaced former import Eric McCree.

Hester powered Magnolia to four consecutive wins but saw his undefeated streak halted despite churning out solid numbers of 23 points, 15 rebounds, and 3 assists as he got limited to just 2 points in the fourth quarter.

It was not just Hester who struggled offensively in the final frame, with the entire Hotshots held to just 13 points in the period to squander a 71-63 lead at the end of the third salvo.

Chris Newsome backstopped McDaniels with 16 points and 3 rebounds, Aaron Black put up 13 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists, while Bong Quinto fired 12 points, 7 of those coming in the fourth quarter.

“It turned out what we expected it to be – it was a grind-out game. It was not pretty,” said Meralco head coach Norman Black.

Cliff Hodge did the dirty work for the Bolts with 8 points and 12 rebounds on the same game where he got recognized for being the 52nd player in PBA history to haul down at least 1,000 offensive boards.

Hodge grabbed 8 of their 18 offensive rebounds as Meralco cashed in on 19 second-chance points.

Paul Lee finished with 18 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists in the loss as he missed the potential overtime-forcing jumper at the buzzer.

Calvin Abueva netted 10 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists, while Jio Jalalon and Mark Barroca scored 11 points each for the Hotshots, who dropped to an even 4-4 card for seventh place.

The Scores

Meralco 86 – McDaniels 19, Newsome 16, Black 13, Quinto 12, Hodge 8, Maliksi 7, Caram 5, Banchero 4, Almazan 2, Jose 0.

Magnolia 84 – Hester 23, Lee 18, Jalalon 11, Barroca 11, Abueva 10, Dela Rosa 5, Escoto 4, Reavis 2, Corpuz 0, Ahanmisi 0, Dionisio 0.

Quarters: 20-18, 37-39, 63-71, 86-84.

– 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.