McDaniels powers TNT anew
TNT leaned on KJ McDaniels’ all-around brilliance to hold off Rain or Shine, 103-91, in a PBA Governors’ Cup Petron Saturday Special 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 many wins 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 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 had 12 each.
“The locals stepped up. We just hope to play that way and even better every game.”
Matthew Wright hit the game-winning jumper to rescue Phoenix from total collapse and nip Barangay Ginebra, 103-101, in the other game.
Wright buried the baseline jumper with 5.1 seconds left as the Fuel Masters salvaged a victory after blowing a 23-point lead.
“I guess we were just destined to win this game,” said Phoenix head coach Louie Alas, whose squad chalked up its first win in three games.
Wright led all scorers with 28 points.
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.
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