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PBA: McDaniels clutch free throws ends Magnolia’s streak, lift Meralco to sixth

KJ McDaniels came through in crunch time as Meralco ended Magnolia’s four-game winning streak, 86-84, to continue its own winning ways in the PBA Governors’ Cup, Sunday night at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

The seasoned import gave the Bolts the 85-84 lead following a perfect trip to the line with 31.2 seconds left, then secured the rebound on the other end as he immediately hauled down the missed triple of Rome Dela Rosa.

He would split his next set of charities shortly after to make it a three-point lead with 6.9 ticks left, and the Bolts turned to their defense to prevent the opposition from converting on the way to their second win in a row.

McDaniels finished with 19 points and 15 rebounds to lead Meralco, who’s now sitting at no. 6 in the team standings with a 5-3 record.

It turned out to be what we thought it would be, it was a grind-out type of game,” said head coach Norman Black. “But we made some stops down the stretch to make the difference in the game.”

Chris Newsome contributed 16 points, while Aaron Black came up with 13 markers, six boards, and four assists in the victory..

Meralco will now focus on its three remaining games for one final push toward the playoffs, beginning with rivals Ginebra on Wednesday, 5:45 p.m. at the Big Dome in a rematch of the last two Governors’ Cup Finals.

“All three games will be really tough for us,” said Black as they will have Converge and Phoenix Super LPG after battling the Kings.

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Leading the way for Magnolia, on the other hand, was Antonio Hester, who had 23 points and 15 rebounds in the streak-busting defeat.

Paul Lee had 18 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. Mark Barroca and Jio Jalalon made 11 apiece while Calvin Abueva added 10 for the Hotshots, who once led by as much as 12 in the third but couldn’t protect as much.

Now at 4-4, Magnolia will try to keep its flickering Top 4 hopes alive against NorthPort on Thursday, 6:45 p.m. also in Araneta.

The Scores:

Meralco 86 – McDaniels 19, Newsome 16, Black 13, Quinto 12, Hodge 8, Maliksi 7, Caram 5, Banchero 4, Almazan 2, Jose 0

Magnolia 84 – Hester 23, Lee 18, Jalalon 11, Barroca 11, Abueva 10, Dela Rosa 5, Escoto 4, Reavis 2, Corpuz 0, Ahanmisi 0, Dionisio 0

Quarterscores: 20-18, 37-39, 63-71, 86-84.

The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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