MAKE no mistake about Talk ‘N Text’s campaign in the PBA Governors’ Cup.
Still reeling from stinging loss in the last Commissioner’s Cup finals, the KaTropa seemed more determined this time around, showinga remarkable consistency right on their first game yesterday.
With KJ McDaniels showing his worth as advertised, and four locals giving him enough complements in offense, the KaTropa blasted the Blackwater Elite, 135-107, for an explosive start in the season-ending conference.
Daniels delivered a superb performance highlighted with 41 points, 22 rebounds and seven assists as he powered the KaTropa to the lopsided win which gave them a share of the early lead with Barangay Ginebra, NLEX, Meralco and NorthPort.
The KaTropa, who were coming off a stint in the Terrific 12 tournament in Macau, led from start to finish, posting lead which snowballed as the game wore on at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
McDaniels was ably backed up by the foursome of Roger Pogoy, Jayson Castro, Troy Rosario and Don Trollano who all finished in double figures as they gave the Elite and Blakely a painful spanking.
The Elite got big game from Bobby Ray Parks who finished with 39 points, and double-digit scores from four other locals. However, Blakely failed to contribute well to the Elite cause, after the former Magnolia import finished with four points, four rebounds and five assists.
The KaTropa ran the breaks right at the onset of the game, and sustained the great momentum well into the second quarter in a sheer show of their excellent ball movement manifested by 14 assists.
They also controlled the rebound, 34-19, with import KJ McDaniels himself cornering as many rebounds as 12 while scoring 20 points for TNT. Underscoring their fine offense, the KaTropa went 26 of 40 from the floor for an impressive 65% clip in the first half – a far cry from Blackwater’s 17 of 45 (37%).
McDaniels also had three assists as he completely outshone Blackwater counterpart Marcus Blakely who could not seem to find his rhythm after managing just three rebounds and four assists and without score in his 18-minute stint in the first half.
TNT’s fast-paced offensive anchored on its starting five composed of Castro, Roger Pogoy, McDaniels, Trollano and Samboy De Leon led to the KaTropa building a 34-19 lead at the end of the first quarter.
With Castro making back-to-back triples and Trollano adding a triple of his own highlighting a blistering TNT run, the Elite found themselves truly in big trouble.
Before the Elite knew it, the KaTropa were already enjoying a 53-30 lead, with a little over six minutes remaining in the second period.
TNT (135) - McDaniels 41, Pogoy 22, Rosario 18, Trollano 17, Castro 17, Vosotros 7, De Leon 5, D. Semerad 4, Magat 4, Washington 0, Carey 0, Casino 0.
Blackwater (107) - Parks 39, Maliksi 15, Sumang 14, Belo 12, Digregorio 11, Jose 8, Blakely 4, Alolino 2, Dario 2, Al-Hussaini 0, Cortez 0, Desiderio 0, Sena 0,
Quarterscores: 34-19, 63-46, 97-80, 135-107.