PBA: KJ McDaniels show as TNT holds off Rain or Shine for 2-0 start
MANILA, Philippines—TNT leaned on KJ McDaniels’ all-around brilliance to hold off Rain or Shine, 103-91, in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Playing with reckless abandon, McDaniels anchored his team on both ends finishing with 37 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and five blocks to propel the KaTropa to a 2-0 start.
“We just have to continue to keep working hard. Get as much win as we can. It’s only going to get harder in the coming games and it’s not easy beating Rain or Shine. They’re a tough team,” said TNT coach Bong Ravena.
“I told him we need him to be consistent in scoring because the locals will follow his lead,” Ravena said of McDaniels, who is coming off a 41-point, 22-rebound outing in a 135-107 win over Blackwater three nights ago.
McDaniels, a late second round pick by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2014 NBA Draft, also drew ample help as four locals wound up in double-digits.
Troy Rosario scored 16, including a 3-pointer from the right corner off a set up by Jayson Castro that pushed the lead back to 10, 96-86, with 3:31 left after Rain or Shine came within four.
Castro added 15 points and seven assists while Roger Pogoy and Don Trollano chipped in 12 apiece.
“The locals stepped up. We just hope to play that way and even better every game.”
Elasto Painters import Joel Wright had 20 points with his last basket cutting the KaTropa’s advantage down to four, 90-86, with still 4:39 remaining.
But Rain or Shine’s comeback bid took a devastating blow after Wright got called for a flagrant foul penalty 1 at the 3:50 mark for tripping Rosario allowing TNT to pull away.
Javee Mocon tallied 19 while James Yap had 18 for the Painters (1-2).