Hotshots draw first blood in semis series

In a closely contested match, a single move could have a significant impact.

Magnolia managed to pull off such a crucial move towards the end, allowing them to narrowly defeat Phoenix Super LPG with a score of 82-79 on Wednesday at the beginning of their PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals clash at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Tyler Bey converted an impressive pass from Paul Lee into a three-point play, granting the Hotshots an 81-78 advantage with only 87 seconds left in a tightly contested game that saw 16 tie-ups and 15 lead changes.

Johnathan Williams’ successful free throws and Bey’s split pegged the lead at three points in the final 3.8 seconds before Jason Perkins of the Fuel Masters missed his buzzer-beating three-point attempt by a small margin.

After securing an early lead in the best-of-five series, Magnolia is determined to extend their advantage to 2-0 as the series moves to the Mall of Asia Arena starting Friday.

Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero expressed satisfaction with his team’s strong defensive performance despite struggling offensively against the tough defense of the Fuel Masters.

“It is our gameplan to limit the score under 90 points because that’s our average in points allowed. We’ve been doing it the whole conference, we’re the No. 1 team in defense. So we want it to be like that,” said Victolero.

“Hopefully, buong series ganoon so we’ll have a good chance of winning the game. We had a hard time to score also. (Phoenix) Coach Jamike (Jarin) did a very good job of disrupting our offense, our rhythm,” he added.

“Good thing we’re focusing and solid and locked in on in our defense. That’s why siguro the breaks napunta sa amin, because of our aggressiveness down the stretch.”

Bey led the Hotshots with 23 points and 10 rebounds, while Paul Lee contributed 11 points, five rebounds, and three assists, and Mark Barroca added 10 points, six of which came in the fourth quarter.

Perkins scored 25 points for Phoenix, with RJ Jazul contributing 13 points and Javee Mocon adding 11. Although Williams only scored 11 points on as many shots, he managed to secure a game-high 18 rebounds and seven assists.

The scores:

Magnolia 82 – Bey 23, Lee 11, Barroca 10, Abueva 9, Sangalang 8, Dionisio 8, Jalalon 7, Laput 6, Dela Rosa 0, Tratter 0, Mendoza 0.

Phoenix 79 – Perkins 25, Jazul 13, Mocon 11, Williams 11, Tio 6, Tuffin 5, Garcia 3, Manganti 3, Lalata 2, Verano 0, Rivero 0, Soyud 0, Alejandro 0, Daves 0, Camacho 0.

Quarterscores: 18-16, 38-41, 61-60, 82-79

Back to top button