Photo from PBA

KJ McDaniels looks to help NLEX secure a twice-to-beat advantage before adieu in a crucial battle with Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Friday, March 4 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Road Warriors parade McDaniels for the last time at 6 p.m. before heading to the quarterfinals with a new reinforcement in Cameron Clark, a veteran of several leagues in Europe.

NLEX holds a 7-3 record, needing to end the eliminations with a win to secure a top four finish and the quarterfinal bonus.

But its bid to go deep into the campaign will have to be done minus McDaniels, who is heading back to the United States with his wife due to give birth this month.

McDaniels would have finished his Road Warriors campaign had it not been for the stoppage of play in January due to the Covid-19 surge.

He will try to wrap his stint with the same type of play that allowed him to average 30.8 points, 11.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.5 steals and 2.8 blocks in 10 games.

It will also be NLEX’s first game since losing Jericho Cruz, who signed with San Miguel Beer as an unrestricted free agent, which could make things even more tough in its twice-to-beat bid.

Ginebra needs a victory to remain in the hunt for the twice-to-beat, but is wary that its inconsistency could once again surface, like in its recent game when a 22-point deficit was erased before escaping with a 112-107 win over Terrafirma.

The Gin Kings sit in sixth place at 5-4 with a goal of creating a three-way tie for fourth with the Beermen and the Alaska Aces.

TNT returns to action after six players represented Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers when it plays winless Blackwater at 3 p.m.

With a 4-4 record and three games left in the elims, the Tropang Giga are also in contention for the twice-to-beat.

Blackwater faces another difficult task in avoiding falling to a 10th loss in as many games in the eliminations which would extend the record streak to 29 straight matches.

Source: Manila Bulletin (