Hotshots overcome weary legs, avoid 0-3
MANILA, Philippines — Magnolia finally got out of Rain or Shine’s choke hold, breaking through with an 85-74 victory to cut the Elasto Painters’ lead in the PBA Philippine Cup semis to 2-1 last night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Ian Sangalang, waking up from a silent first half, exploded for 16 in the last 24 minutes, doing the most damage in the fourth quarter, as the Hotshots seized control en route to their first win after two successive losses in the series, actually three overall in the season-opening conference.
“We just tried to bring back the Magnolia Hoshots basketball, which is more of a defensive-minded team - pesky on defense, more aggressive on both ends of the floor,” said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero.
“I told them kailangan namin ibalik ang aggressiveness, and energy, even though we’re tired from playing seven games in 14 nights. That’s our identity.If we don’t play to our strengths, hindi kami mananalo,” he added.
Avoiding a deep 0-3 hole, the Hotshots now have a chance to level the best-of-seven affair at the resumption of hostilities on Monday.
The Hotshots led by 10 half way through the second quarter but lost it quickly as the Elasto Painters countered to take a 42-35 lead at the end of the period. RoS then maintained the advantage until the first four minutes of the final canto.
Then came Sangalang, who fuelled a searing 14-5 windup to lift the Hotshots to victory. Sangalang had 12 in the fourth quarter alone as shared scoring honors with Paul Lee (16), while hauling down 11 boards.
“Defensively, we’re great, offensively we’re composed and patient. Nakakuha kami kay Ian ng magandang opensa pati na rin sa mga guards,” said Victolero, referring also to Jio Jalalon and Mark Barroca who had 10 rebounds each. “Everybody stepped up.”
Javee Mocon, hero of RoS’ Game One triumph, paced the Elasto Painters with 18.
Meanwhile, San Miguel Beer takes its crack at going 3-0 at the resumption of its own semis series with Phoenix Pulse on Sunday.
“Of course (we expect it to be more physical). Syempre gusto nilang manalo; kami rin gusto naming manalo para maka-3-0 kami para malaki ang tsansa na manalo,” said SMB’s main man June Mar Fajardo.
Notes: Commissioner Willie Marcial yesterday slapped fines on San Miguel’s Christian Standhardinger and Phoenix’s Calvin Abueva and Doug Kramer for their infractions in Game Two. Standhardinger was fined P20,000 for committing a flagrant foul 2 while Abueva got a P15,000 fine for flashing his middle finger on TV after fouling out. Kramer was meted P5,000 for his flagrant foul 1.
Magnolia 85 – Lee 16, Sangalang 16, Melton 9, Jalalon 8, Dela Rosa 7, Reavis 7, Barroca 6, Reavis 6, Brondial 5, Simon 3, Ramos 2.
Rain or Shine 74 – Mocon 18, Belga 12, Torres 10, Daquioag 7, Yap 6, Nambatac 6, Norwood 6, Alejandro 3, Rosales 2, Borboran 2, Ponferada 2.
Quarterscores: 15-17, 35-42, 57-63, 85-74.