Games Today (Smart Araneta)
4:15 p.m. – Barako Bull vs San Miguel
7 p.m. – Star vs Alaska
Manila, Philippines – After botching two game winners in regulation and the first overtime, Kia Carnival’s Taiwanese import Jet Chang turned to somebody else to assume the hero’s role.
And Senegalese 7-footer Hamady N’Diaye was right there to accept the honor.
N’Diaye got the drop pass from Chang with 1:26 remaining in the second overtime last night and rammed home a two-handed slam dunk to power the Carnival past the Blackwater Elite, 83-76, in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome.
The two expansion ballclubs went from engaging each other in a shoddy first half into producing a thrilling battle largely behind the mammoth matchup between N’Diaye and Blackwater’s 7-foot reinforcement Marcus Douthit.
N’Diaye was atrocious from the foul line, missing 9 of 11 free throws. But he was 7 of 11 from the field, had 23 rebounds, 9 blocked shots and was a monster with the ball two feet from the basket, proving to be the big difference as Manny Pacquiao’s Kia seized a share of second place with the Alaska Aces on 3-1 slates behind unbeaten leader Barako Bull.
Alaska was playing Talk ‘N Text at presstime and could retake the No. 2 spot.
Chang, whose real name is Chang Tsung-Hsien, led Kia with 25 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. But he also had 5 turnovers, none graver than when he ignored two open teammates in the waning seconds of regulation with the score tied, 72-all, attacked Blackwater’s zone defense and lost the ball.
Kia committed a total of 23 errors and Blackwater 19, the two teams combining for 27 turnover points for the evening and racheting up the ratio up in the first overtime when neither side could score in the last four minutes after trading a basket each in the opening 48 seconds.
Bogged down by their below 35 percent shooting, the two teams sustained a furious exchange of transition following rushed shots and turnovers until Kia emerged with the last shot with 15 seconds left in the first OT.
Again Kia went to Chang for redemption and the Taiwanese national player had an open look for a 17-footer that rolled out just before the buzzer, setting up a second extra period.
Blackwater’s horrendous shooting continued and Kia opened a 3-point lead on a basket by N’Diaye, whose Senegal team lost to the Andre Blatche-led Gilas Pilipinas squad in last year’s FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain, and a free throw by Alex Nuyles.
Drought persisted for the Elite until the 1:46 mark when Reil Cervantes scored on a fast break layup – Blackwater’s only production in the second OT. N’Diaye quickly negated the basket, however, after Chang located him inside the paint for a vicious slam that made it 79-76.
Karl Dehesa wrapped up the exhausting contest for Kia with two free throws and driving layup.
“It was a tough game,” said Kia assistant coach Chito Victolero. “It’s all about effort and the willingness to win. Enough experience is gained with these close games.”
Brian Heruela led the Elite with 19 points and narrowly crowned himself hero had his running jumper at the buzzer in regulation gone in. Douthit added 16 points, 16 rebounds and 4 blocked shots, but was clearly undermatched against the younger, stronger N’Diaye, who blocked a Douthit dunk early in the fourth quarter and then beat his chest over the fallen form of the former LA Laker.
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, Celiz 0, Bulasan 0.
Quarters: 21-16; 34-28; 50-52; 72-72 (reg); 74-74 (OT); 83-76 (2nd OT)