PBA: NLEX frustrates Ginebra in KJ McDaniels’ last game
MANILA, Philippines—It was a farewell game to remember for KJ McDaniels as he led NLEX to a crucial 115-103 win over Barangay Ginebra in the 2021-22 PBA Governors’ Cup Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
McDaniels excelled on both sides of the floor with his line of 26 points, 10 rebounds, two steals, and three blocks powering the Road Warriors to an 8-3 finish in the elimination round and securing a twice-to-beat advantage come playoff time.
NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao admitted losing McDaniels is tough heading into the playoffs but the team understood the big man’s sentiments to be with his wife for the birth of their child.
McDaniels recovers, scores!FEATURED STORIES
— PBA (@pbaconnect) March 4, 2022
“I don’t know how to say it but if there’s anything that can convince KJ to stay we’d do it,” said Guiao. “But his family is his first priority, he needs to be, he wants to be bedside when his wife when she gives birth, we cannot take that away from him.”
The Road Warriors trailed early 33-18 in the first quarter but slowly chipped away at the deficit eventually turning things around in the third taking an 83-77 lead courtesy of McDaniels’ put-back dunk off of Kevin Alas’ missed jumper.
Justin Chua’s three-pointer then capped off an 8-2 run that gave NLEX a 106-96 lead with 4:24 to play.
Alas fell short of a triple-double finishing with 18 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists, and two steals to help the Road Warriors while Kris Rosales added 17 points, on 5-of-6 shooting from deep, off the bench.
Justin Brownlee put up 36 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists, and three steals to lead the Gin Kings who dropped to 5-5.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.