Kia upsets PBA Philippine Cup champion San Miguel
MANILA, Philippines — Kia shocked San Miguel Beer, 88-78, in the 2015 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Carnival led by as much as 18 in the third quarter and were able to hang on despite losing their 7-foot-3 import PJ Ramos, who fouled out with still 4:37 left, and with the Beermen going on run.
“I’m very happy and also I give credit to my players. PJ fouled out but the locals stepped up,” said Kia assistant coach Chito Victolero, who filled in for playing-coach Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao is still in the US to attend the National Prayer Breakfast.
Guard LA Revilla collected 12 points, five rebounds and six assists for Kia, which ended a 12-game losing skid dating back to last conference.
The win was only the second in franchise history for the Carnivals, who were part of the league expansion last year, after going just 1-10 in the previous conference.
Ramos finished with his lowest output so far in the conference with 22 points and eight rebounds after averaging 37.5 points and 20.5 rebounds in his first two games.
Kia took a 65-47 buffer late in the third quarter but San Miguel came to within two points twice – with the last time at 71-69 on a basket by June Mar Fajardo with still 6:11 left. The Carnival recovered and went on a 10-1 run to retake an 81-70 advantage with 2:45 remaining.
The Beermen again threatened but reigning MVP Fajardo picked up his last foul, and the Carnival sealed the biggest win of their young franchise on an undergoal stab by JR Cawaling, 85-76, with 58.6 ticks remaining.
Ronald Roberts Jr. and Fajardo each had 18 points for San Miguel, which played its first game since winning the Philippine Cup crown in Game 7 over Alaska.
The Beermen shot just 1-of-24 from the three-point area and had more turnovers (13) than assists (12) while the Carnival connected on seven out of their 15 attempts from long distance.
Victolero also said that Pacquiao called during halftime and reminded the players to play defense. Victolero added that he spoke with Pacquiao immediately right after the win and the current WBO welterweight champion congratulated the players and the whole team for a job well done.
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