PBA: KJ takes over for TNT in crucial win: “That’s what I’m here for”
Paul Lintag on Nov 20, 2019 10:26 PM
After blowing an 18-point lead, McDaniels saved the KaTropa from a monumental collapse, scoring 18 points in the fourth quarter as TNT survived the rival Beermen in a thriller. (Photo by Richard Esguerra)
ANTIPOLO — KJ McDaniels wasn’t going to allow TNT to lose to San Miguel Beer here Wednesday.
After blowing an 18-point lead, McDaniels saved the KaTropa from a monumental collapse, scoring 18 points in the fourth quarter as TNT survived the rival Beermen in a thriller.
TNT’s prize is a twice-to-beat edge in the quarterfinals.
Up two in the final minute, McDaniels missed two crucial free throws and San Miguel import John Holland drilled a booming triple as the Beermen took over.
KJ more than made up for his mistake though, coming back to hit a three of his own to regain the lead for the KaTropa with 38 seconds left.
Then, after he put TNT up three with a now-perfect trip to the line, McDaniels blocked Holland’s attempt from three for the tie and the KaTropa managed to hold on for the victory.
In a return to form, McDaniels scored 44 points to go along with 12 rebounds, six assists, five blocks, and two steals.
“That’s what I’m here for, to take those shots and lead my team. My teammates did a good job of lifting me up as well,” McDaniels said.
“It was a thrilling game. We were excited coming in. We came out with the right energy for the win, and they’re a good team,” he added.
With the win, the KaTropa move on to the quarterfinals against defending champion Magnolia in round 1.
The Hotshots beat up TNT on the road last week and McDaniels is excited to have another shot at the champs.
“Yes, most definitely,” KJ said when asked if he’s looking forward to the rematch against Magnolia.
“We kinda let one slip away with them, I feel like we’re good enough to beat them but they came out and slapped us in the mouth. So we gotta come out with the right energy against them,” he added.
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