ANTIPOLO - Hyram Bagatsing knocked down a three-pointer with one second left to lift KIA Motors to a pulsating 85-82 win over NLEX in the PBA Governors Cup on Monday at the Ynares Center.
Pulled out of the bench late in the game, the former La Salle back-up guard responded with a gutsy, game-winning shot after getting a kickout pass from LA Revilla to cap a KIA comeback from a 16-point deficit.
“The play was designed for HD (Hamady N’Diaye) and LA but I told LA, if he has a chance to kick out, just kick it out,” said KIA’s lead assistant coach Chito Victolero.
"I’m very happy with Hyram kasi medyo matagal siya naupo, pero nung ginamit ko siya, he responded. Magandang maganda ang bunot," he added.
Victolero admitted the Carnival started flat in the first half, ruing a lethargic defense that enabled the Road Warriors to establish a sizeable 48-32 lead late in the second quarter.
The KIA assistant coach said the team got a pep talk and a few reminders at haltime from playing coach Manny Pacquiao, who relayed the message through team manager Eric Pineda.
KIA drew big offensive games from Revilla and Taiwanese import Jet Chang as well as intimidating defense provided by their Senegalese import in the second half to post its second win in three games.
“I talked to my players in the first half. I told them to settle down and let’s do our job and give our best effort gaya ng sinabi ni boss Manny through boss Eric. I’m very happy they responded very well,” added Victolero.
Revilla and Chang led the Carnival with 15 points apiece, while new boys Jason Deuchman and Alex Nuyles combined for 20 points.
D’Diyae, who went 2-of-9 from the foul line, finished with just six points, but had eight rebounds and three blocks.
Kwame Alexander led the way with 22 points while Asi Taulava had 17 and Mark Borboran 10 for NLEX, which fell to 1-3 in a tie with idle Ginebra and Blackwater.
KIA 85 - Revilla 15, Cheng 15, Deutchman 10, Nuyles 10, Bagatsing 8, NDiaye 6, Thiele 6, Yee 5, Pascual 4, Pareno 4, Alvarez 2, Ighalo 0, Dehesa 0, Webb 0, Avenido 0.
NLEX 82 - Alexandr 22, Taulava 17, Borboran 10, Cardona 8, E. Villanueva 6, Canaleta 5, J. Villanueva 4, Madanly 3, Lingganay Raymundo 0, H. Arboleda 0.
Quarterscores: 15-28; 36-50; 63-61; 85-82.