Magnolia showed up for the game against Blackwater with nothing to lose and finished the match with a dent on its pride as the Hotshots absorbed a 1-point defeat to previously winless Blackwater, 101-100, in the second to the last game day of the elimination round of the 2021 PBA Governors’ Cup, Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Shawn Glover led the Bossing’s farewell performance for the season-ending conference with 33 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals in an almost no-relief job while Barkley Ebona and Rey Suerte delivered the clutch plays as the Dioceldo Sy-owned franchise finally snapped out of a 29-game losing streak which lasted one year and four months.
The Hotshots, meanwhile, fell to 9-2 but still ended up as the number 1 team going into the quarterfinal round.
“It’s a no-bearing game but we considered it as a game with much bearing for us. It’s for our team owner and the fans,” said guard Jvee Casio who was adjudged as the Best Player of the game.
“Everybody wanted to win from the team owner to the players to the support staff. It’s a hard season at nakakatuwa na nakuha namin ito for the franchise,” he added.
The Bossing looked well on the way to an easy win after being up by 11 points with a little over 4 minutes left on the game clock but the Hotshots had other plans. Mark Barroca presided over a last-ditch fightback which eventually gave the SMC-owned squad the lead, 100-99, after a Barroca floater with 48.2 seconds left.
The Bossing, however, won’t be denied as Ebona came through with a steal and conversion while Suerte preserved the victory with a defensive gem off Jackson Corpuz.
“Sana it came earlier in the season,” said Blackwater coach Ariel Vanguardia during the post-game presser. “Pero it’s really a process eh. My mistake as a coach is we want to make a lot of changes right away and get the pieces that you like and get the players that you like. Too many changes. Too many injuries. There were games that we could have won that could have turned the season for us.”
“But now, the monkey is off our back,” he added.
Barroca paced the Hotshots with 27 points while import Mike Harris added 21 to go with 17 boards. Aris Dionisio and Paul Lee chipped in 14 and 12 markers, respectively.
Blackwater 101 – Glover 33, Suerte 16, Paras 12, Casio 12, Ebona 8, Desiderio 8, McCarthy 6, Ayonayon 6, Washington 0, Amer 0, Ambolutdo 0, Melton 0.
Magnolia 100 – Barroca 27, Harris 21, Dionisio 14, Lee 12, Reavis 5, Sangalang 5, Dela Rosa 4, Brill 3, Ahanmisi 2, Corpuz 0, Escoto 0.
Quarterscores: 16-21, 48-45, 71-66, 101-100.