Regulation and a first overtime were not enough, but Hamady N’Diaye and the rest of his crew proved to have the needed push in 2nd OT as Kia takes its third win in four games with a 83-77 victory over the Blackwater Elites held at the Cuneta Astrodome on Tuesday.
Bambam Gamalinda made the game’s opening basket via a wide-open wing jumper. Kia responded with Jett Chang anchoring the opening quarter run with three straight perimeter buckets. Carnival missed their initial attempt from the field but they made seven of their next eight shots to make it 15-7 capped by a Hamady N’Diaye long deuce.
Despite Kia missing their six next attempts, Blackwater failed to capitalize quickly on their end with N’Diaye leading the Kia defense with successive rejections and rim protection. The Elites made free throws within the next four minutes to slice the lead down to three. The two teams combined for eight points in the last three minutes of the defensive-themed first canto.
Kia extended their lead to 29-16 on a fast 8-0 blitz to start the second quarter including triples by LA Revilla and Karl Dehesa. On the other end, the Elites still struggled finding their rhythm offensively as they also muffed their transition attempts. While the Carnival kept on making the lead grow in their favor, Blackwater only scored four points within eight minutes of play in the second frame.
The low-scoring affair continued in the period as Kia cooled down with their shooting on the tail-end of the first half. Marcus Douthit entered double digits in scoring but needed nine hard-earned attempts as he powered his squad to enter the break down only by single digits. By halftime, N’Diaye already had 10 boards and five blocks while Blackwater shot poorly at 32% wherein no Elite other than Douthit made more than one field goal.
An awakened and well-adjusted Blackwater squad showed up in the second half as they outscored Kia, 13-6 in the first six minutes to regain the lead at 41-40. N’Diaye still was a force in the defensive end particularly against Douthit, but the other locals of the Elites were sharp enough to scramble for loose balls and scored on putbacks. During the stretch, it was the Carnival who looked like the struggling Elites during the first half as they had a hard time piling up shots.
Reil Cervantes knocked down a trey during the rally and after a Kia timeout, the Carnival settled for missed perimeter jumpers as they looked completely out of sync. On the other side, the lead kept on growing on Blackwater’s end in the total shift of momentum in the match. The lead grew to as large as seven for the Elites but was quickly countered by Kia when Alex Nuyles finished a fastbreak to tie things up at 50. Bryan Heruela made a basket in the dying seconds to beat the third quarter buzzer to give his team the lead heading into the last quarter.
The number of lead changes started to pile up in the fourth and final quarter as the exchange of baskets kept on coming for both teams. With the game tied at 59, Raffy Reyes drilled in a triple with a little over six minutes to go in the game to give them back the advantage. On Kia’s end, Chang missed his two free throws but answered big on the next play with an and-one, to tie the game again with four minutes to play.
Fast forward to the regulation’s last two minutes and down by a point, N’Diaye failed to convert on his free throws but Chang stood sharp enough, securing a big offensive putback to swing back the lead to Kia once again. After free throws made by two teams, the game was tied at 70 with 31.7 seconds left to play. After Hyram Bagatsing and Bryan Heruela exchanged big shots at crunch time, Kia was left with 19.5 ticks to go. However, Chang lost possession while Bagatsing missed the potential game-winner over multiple Carnival defenders that signaled overtime.
In overtime, Bagatsing and Mark Yee traded the extension’s two baskets in 4 ½ minutes. After the tired-looking squads missed chances to increase their production, Blackwater called for timeout with 33 seconds to play. However, Cervantes overshot his floater that left Kia with another crack for the game. Again, Chang missed his attempt to win the game while Hans Thiele shot an air ball to send the game to a second overtime.
Fast forward to the 1:46 mark of the second extension, N’Diaye and Nuyles combined for Kia’s three points while Cervantes completed an uncontested fastbreak layup to make it 77-76. After a ceasefire, Chang found N’Diaye for a slam to extend their lead. While Blackwater missed more attempts down the wire, Kia scored six more to finally seal the deal.
N’Diaye finished with 16 points, 25 rebounds and nine blocks in 53 minutes of action. His co-import Chang tallied 25 markers and grabbed six boards.
Kia improves to 3-1 and is now tied with Alaska at second place in the standings as of press time. On the other hand, Blackwater drops to 1-4.
Blackwater will next face Meralco on Friday, 4:15pm at the Smart Araneta Coliseum while Kia’s next assignment will be up against the Star Hotshots on Saturday at Pampanga.
Kia(83) – Chang 25, N’Diaye 16, Revilla 10, Dehesa 9, Nuyles 8, Yee 4, Bagatsing 3, Thiele 2, Webb 2, Alvarez 2, Pascual 2, Deutchman 0, Avenido 0, Parreno 0
Blackwater(76) – Heruela 19, Douthit 16, Cervantes 13, Reyes 8, Laure 8, Gamalinda 6, Faundo 2, Erram 2, Acuna 2, Timberlake 0
Quarters: 21-16, 34-28, 50-52, 72-72, 74-74, 83-76