Wanting to give playing coach Manny Pacquiao something to be happy about, the Kia Carnival grinded out a winning effort in their first game in the PBA Governors’ Cup.
Regular import Hamady N’Diyae, Taiwanese reinforcement Jet Chang and new recruit Alex Nuyles combined for 53 points as Kia once again stunned San Miguel Beer, 83-78, at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City Wednesday night.
N’Diyae top scored with 21 points and also got six rebounds and four blocks while Nuyles and Chang added 18 and 14 points, respectively, as the Carnival repeated their 88-78 upset of the Beermen in the Commissioner’s Cup.
Curiously, San Miguel, the reigning Philippine Cup champ, was the first team beaten by the league newcomer twice.
“Gusto namin pasiyahin si Boss Manny. Big motivation namin iyon in this game,” said Kia coach Chito Victolero.
N’Diyae, Nuyles and Chang delivered big numbers and the rest helped in a tough defensive stand that proved a big factor in another reversal of the Beermen.
“We want to be the number one defensive team in the league. We challenged everyone to give best effort on individual defense. And together, we limited San Miguel to 10 points in the first quarter and 30 in the first half. That’s a big key,” said Victolero.
“Yung import namin eh big factor din. Kadadating lang niya last Saturday kaya wala pa sa kundisyon. But even then, he made an impact on defense,” Victolero added.
With limited touches, the Senegalese behemoth was able to pile up a game-high output on remarkable 8-of-9 field shooting and a perfect 5-of-5 free throws. Surprisingly, he was just a 50-percent shooter from the line in the Lebanese league.
Chang also made an impact in tossing in 14 points in the final half.
Nuyles was also there in the clutch, sinking a charity then stealing off AZ Reid which he turned to a crucial basket as the Carnival made it 81-75 with 34.9 ticks to go.
A transferee from Blackwater, Nuyles went 8-of-14 from the field and 1-of-2 from the stripe to improve his personal best production.
San Miguel threatened the last time at 78-81 on a trey by Arwind Santos before N’Diyae settled the outcome of the game on two free throws off a foul by June Mar Fajardo.
With a stomach infection, Reid settled for only 17 points and 10 rebounds against seven turnovers.
Fajardo also struggled in his matchup with N’Diyae, coming through with just 11 markers and eight boards.
Alex Cabagnot topscored for the Beermen with 18 markers that went with four rebounds and three assists. (SB)
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