KJ McDaniels takes charge in OT as NLEX prevails in tough grind vs. NorthPort

KJ McDaniels takes charge in OT as NLEX prevails in tough grind vs. NorthPort

KJ McDaniels made up for his botched clutch moment in regulation by taking over in OT. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—KJ McDaniels almost singlehandedly carried the fight for NLEX in the overtime period as the team escaped with a 120-115 win over NorthPort in their PBA Governors' Cup clash on Friday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

After Calvin Oftana broke the 102-all tie with a three-pointer to start the five-minute extension, McDaniels took over for the Road Warriors, scoring 11 of their next 13 points, the other two off an Oftana layup, to eventually put the game away from the Batang Pier.

McDaniels somehow atoned himself through the OT blast as he missed two clutch free throws with 1:01 left in regulation that could have brought NLEX, then down, 99-102, closer to NorthPort.

However, NorthPort, which came back from 11 points down after the first period, could not close out the game in regulation after Robert Bolick missed a layup, Paolo Taha missed two free throws, and Oftana stealing the ball from Arwind Santos off a bad pass.

Kevin Alas eventually forced overtime after making three free throws off a Cameron Forte foul with 1.5 seconds left in the fourth quarter as Bolick failed to convert a three-pointer to beat the regulation buzzer.

Alas iced the game with two more free throws.

McDaniels finished with 40 points on 13-of-21 field goals, 15 rebounds, six assists, two steals, and three blocks for the Road Warriors, who are now 2-0 for the conference.

Alas added 21 points, four boards, and four dimes.

Greg Slaughter had 22 points, seven rebounds, and one block to lead the Batang Pier, who fell to 0-2.

Santos added 20 markers, seven caroms, one dime, three swipes, and one rejection off the bench.

Bolick finished with 18 points, six rebounds, 14 assists, and two steals, but he was 0-for-7 from beyond the arc.

Forte put up 17 markers, 23 boards, five dimes, and one swat.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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