PBA Governors' Cup

McDaniels posts 30-20 game as Meralco weathers NorthPort comeback

Delfin Dioquino

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McDaniels posts 30-20 game as Meralco weathers NorthPort comeback

RELIABLE. KJ McDaniels has been a beast for Meralco.

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Meralco squanders a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter but gets the job done in the endgame to improve to 2-0 in the PBA Governors' Cup

MANILA, Philippines – KJ McDaniels and Meralco averted disaster and weathered a late NorthPort comeback to stay unbeaten in the PBA Governors’ Cup following a 107-102 win at the PhilSports Arena on Thursday, January 26.

Shedding weight during the break, McDaniels produced 32 points, 22 rebounds, and 4 assists as the Bolts got the job done in the endgame after squandering a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter.

The win marked the second straight game McDaniels put up at least 20 points and 20 rebounds after recording 27 points and 23 rebounds in their conference-opening 105-87 victory over Rain or Shine last Sunday, January 22.

Down 84-94 with under six minutes left, the Batang Pier erased that deficit behind a 13-2 blitz anchored by Roi Sumang to seize the upper hand, 97-96.

Import Marcus Weathers sparked the run with a three-pointer, Sumang scored 8 straight points, and JM Calma sank the go-ahead bucket with three minutes remaining.

But Meralco put the clamps on NorthPort late and banked on Chris Newsome, who scored 5 unanswered points in the final 1:20 minutes to give his side a 105-99 cushion.

Newsome finished with 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists, Bong Quinto chalked up 15 points, and Cliff Hodge added 15 points and 9 rebounds in the win.

Allein Maliksi fired 14 points for the Bolts, who welcomed back Aaron Black after he sat out the first game due to a knee contusion.

Black tallied 3 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists in 27 minutes of play.

As the Batang Pier missed star guard Robert Bolick anew due to a hamstring injury, Sumang took charge for the NorthPort locals with 23 points, 13 coming in the fourth quarter, on top of 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals.

Weathers also scattered 13 points in the last frame to wind up with 29 points, 14 rebounds, and 2 blocks.

Their efforts, though, were not enough as the Batang Pier crashed to their second straight loss to start the conference.

Arvin Tolentino netted 17 points and 7 rebounds in the losing effort.

The Scores

Meralco 107 – McDaniels 32, Newsome 16, Quinto 15, Hodge 15, Maliksi 14, Almazan 8, Jose 4, Black 3, Banchero 0, Johnson 0, Pasaol 0, Rios 0, Pascual 0.

NorthPort 102 – Weathers 29, Sumang 23, Tolentino 17, Chan 10, Munzon 6, Calma 5, Taha 4, Zamar 3, Balagasay 3, Ayaay 2, Salado 0, Caperal 0, Dela Cruz 0.

Quarters: 26-22, 49-43, 77-67, 107-102.

– 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.