Magnolia started out strong and never looked back on the way to a 30-point dismantling of Manila Clasico rival Brgy. Ginebra, 118-88, Sunday night in the elimination round of the PBA Season 47 Governors’ Cup at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Hotshots picked up their second win in a row after opening the season-ending conference with three successive defeats while the Gin Kings absorbed their first setback in 4 outings.
Antonio Hester had another impressive performance as the former Terrafirma import almost finished with a triple-double after scoring 28 points, hauling down 18 boards and issuing 9 assists. The 32-year old native of Miami, Florida shot 13-of-19 from the field and also had 2 steals in 42 minutes of action.
“I’m very proud of my players dahil down 0-3, back-to-back games, at least nakuha namin. And Hester is a big factor for us. He changed the pace, the tempo of our game, everything,” said Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero during the post-game presser.
“That’s why without Ian [Sangalang], now we have at least a go-to guy in the post. It creates a lot of opportunities for our small guys,” he added.
Mark Barroca added 21 points while Calvin Abueva and Paul Lee scored 18 markers apiece.
“We’re very unselfish as a team. It’s all about competing and in the pre-game sinabi ko lang sa mga bata na we need to enjoy the defensive battle. Kasi ‘yun lang eh, that’s the only chance against Ginebra,” explained Victolero.
Justin Brownlee paced the Gin Kings with 22 points, 7 rebounds, 9 assists, a steal and 2 blocks in 42 minutes of play. Scottie Thompson came through with 19 points while Christian Standhardinger and Jamie Malonzo chipped in 17 and 12 markers, respectively.
The Hotshos will have a three-day break and will shoot for win number three when they clash with the NLEX Road Warriors on Thursday, February 16, 6:45pm at the Smart Araneta Colseum.
Magnolia 118 – Hester 28, Barroca 21, Abueva 18, Lee 18, Dela Rosa 9, Wong 6, Jalalon 5, Dionisio 5, Escoto 5, Ahanmisi 3, Corpuz 0.
Brgy. Ginebra 88 – Brownlee 22, Thompson 19, Standhardinger 17, Malonzo 12, Gray 8, Pinto 8, Mariano 2, Pessumal 0, R.Aguilar 0, Pringle 0, Tenorio 0.
Quarterscores: 23-18, 59-37, 87-71, 118-88.