Kia starts PBA Governor’s Cup with upset win over San Miguel
Kia took down perennial power San Miguel, 83-78, to start its PBA Governor’s Cup campaign with a shocker Wednesday evening at the Mall of Asia Arena.
It was a fun time for the Carnival as they frustrated the intoxicated Beermen with their stifling defense that fueled their transition offense.
San Miguel shot a dry 33 percent from the field while Kia had its engines running as it went on a 44 percent shooting clip.
Kia’s guard wingman combo of Alex Nuyles and Jet Chang owned the fourth quarter coming away with key offensive moments and defensive stops.
JayR Reyes briefly gave San Miguel a 63-63 tie in the fourth but Chang starred in an 8-2 Kia drive capped by a circus layup that put the Carnival up 71-65 at the 5:44 mark of the fourth.
Kia assistant coach Chito Victolero said his team’s willingness to play defense was the catalyst of their offense, especially with import Hamady N’Diyae anchoring them.
“The import is a big factor,” Victolero said who stands in for head coach Manny Pacquiao. “I told them that we wanton become the best defensive team in the league.With the help of our import, we can do that.”
“I challenged everyone to do their individual defense.”
And their individual defense worked as N’Diyae’s four blocks frustrated league MVP Junemar Fajardo, while Nuyles pestered AZ Reid, scoring on a fastbreak layup with 34.9 seconds left in the fourth to put Kia up 81-75.
“They (the players) work hard, they believe, , they sustained the defense,” Victolero said.
N’Diaye led Kia with 21 points and six rebounds while Nuyles had a career-high 18 points.
Kia’s Asian import Chang had 14 points, all in the second half.
Alex Cabagnot led San Miguel with 18 points while Reid added 17 points and 10 rebounds.
A frustrated Fajardo only came up with 11 points and eight rebounds.
KIA 83 – N’Diyae 21, Nuyles 18, Chang 14, Dehesa 8, Yee 7, Revilla 6, Thiele 4, Cawaling 3, Deutchman 2, Ighalo 0, Webb 0, Alvarez 0, Buensuceso 0, Pascual 0, Bagatsing 0.
SAN MIGUEL 78 – Cabagnot 18, Reid 17, Lassiter 12, Fajardo 11, Santos 5, Reyes 4, Espinas 4, Lutz 3, Tubid 3, Ross 1, Semerad 0.
Quarters: 17-10, 33-30, 58-51, 83-78