Hotshots dominate Fuel Masters, tighten grip on top spot

Magnolia pulled off another victory in the PBA Season 47 Commissioner’s Cup by outlasting Phoenix, 90-80, Saturday night at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

Nick Rakocevic and Calvin Abueva came through with double-double performances to lead the Hotshots to back-to-back wins for a total of seven victories in the elimination round against a lone defeat. The Fuel Masters, on the other hand, lost for the second straight time and fell to an even record of 5-5.

Rakocevic paced the 2014 PBA Grand Slam champions with 18 points and 18 boards. The 24-year old Serbian shot 8-of-17 from the field including 1-of-1 from the 3-point area to go along with 1 assist, 4 steals and 2 blocks in 41 minutes of action.

‘Yung journey namin sa elimination, hinati namin sa dalawa e, sa dalawang phase,” said Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero.

“This is our second game of the next phase. I’m very satisfied because we gave up 69 points on Blackwater, and then 80 points in this game. We went back to our identity, which is being a defensive-minded team,” he added.

“Seven-one, okay, but madaming nakabuntot diyan e. We just try to stay humble, and at the same time we need to stay hungry and prepare for our next game.”

Abueva finished with 15 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and a block while Jio Jalalon almost notched a triple-double by registering 12 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists and a steal. Mark Barroca added 11 markers while Paul Lee and Ian Sangalang scored 10 apiece.

The Hotshots will try to move closer to a twice-to-beat incentive when they go for win number 8 against a struggling San Miguel squad on Wednesday, November 16, 5:45pm at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The scores:

Magnolia 90 – Rakocevic 18, Abueva 15, Jalalon 12, Barroca 11, Lee 10, Sangalang 10, Dela Rosa 8, Wong 4, Dionisio 2, Corpuz 0, Ahanmisi 0.

Phoenix Super LPG 80 – Anthony 17, Jazul 11, Mocon 10, Wesson 9, Tio 7, Manganti 5, Rios 5, Perkins 4, Camacho 4, Garcia 3, Adamos 3, Robles 2, Pascual 0, Serrano 0.

Quarterscores: 27-18, 50-36, 76-66, 90-80.

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