KIA stepped up defensively in overtime to outlast fellow expansion squad Blackwater, 83-76 and vault into a share of second place in the PBA Governors Cup on Tuesday at the Cuneta Astrodome.
The Carnival’s resolute defense held Blackwater to four points in the two extra periods while Senegalese import Hamady N'Diaye’s two-handed dunk off Jet Chang’s pass touched off a 6-0 windup that sealed KIA’s third win in four starts.
‘It’s a very hard game,” said a relieved KIA assistant coach Chito Victolero after a thrilling match that should go down as the lowest-scoring double-overtime game in the pro league's 40 years.
“I think Blackwater played very, very well, but it’s about the effort and the willingness to win.”
Victolero said some of his players started to experience leg cramps in the second overtime, but he simply reminded them not to let up defensively.
“It’s not the X and Os anymore in the second overtime, but it’s about their heart and mind. I’m very proud of them because they did not give up kahit tired at pinupulikat na sila, especially our import,” he added.
Chang, the Taiwanese import, led the Carnival with 25 points, six rebounds and four assists, while N'Diaye flirted with a triple-double after finishing with 16 points, 23 rebounds and nine blocked shots.
Both teams shot poorly from the field, but KIA’s energetic effort off the boards enabled the Carnival to take a 70-57 rebounding advantage. The 70 rebounds was a franchise-best record for KIA.
Blackwater, which was coming off its first win this conference following a 83-77 victory over Barangay Ginebra, dropped back to the cellar with its 1-4 record.
Rookie guard Brian Heruela led Blackwater with 19 points, while Marcus Douthit finished with 16 points, 16 rebounds and six assists in a losing stand.
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.
Quarterscores: 21-16; 34-28; 50-52; 72-72; 74-74; 83-76