Hotshots rally to beat Fuel Masters, take commanding 2-0 lead

Magnolia relied on a dizzying 11-2 windup to overpower Phoenix Super LPG, 82-78, in Game 2 of their PBA Season 48 Commissioner’s Cup semifinal series on Friday, January 26, at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Jio Jalalon, Tyler Bey, and Paul Lee spearheaded the Hotshots’ determined fourth-quarter resurgence, rallying from a five-point deficit in the final four minutes and 16 seconds of the game to secure the victory and establish a commanding 2-0 series advantage.

By clinching a win in Game 3 on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena, the Hotshots can eliminate the Fuel Masters and secure a spot in the Finals.

“Thanks to the guys, especially to Tyler for stepping up down the stretch because of his versatility and can play multiple positions,” said Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero shortly after the resounding victory.

After scoring 16 quick points in the opening quarter to help the Hotshots grab an early 30-14 lead, Bey ran into foul trouble in the second quarter, allowing the Fuel Masters to regroup and erase the Hotshots’ once imposing lead.

However, with veteran poise led by Jalalon’s 17 points and Barroca’s 5 assists, Magnolia managed to squeak past its determined opponent.

“We got out hustled and outworked by Phoenix in the first 44 minutes of the game,” said Victolero. “We just matched their energy and aggressiveness and effort. Credit Phoenix, they outworked us.”

Despite being outrebounded 59-50 by Phoenix, Magnolia capitalized on the Fuel Masters’ 14 turnovers, converting them into 26 points.

Johnathan Williams led Phoenix with an impressive performance of 27 points, 16 rebounds, and five assists. Jason Perkins backed-up their import with a double-double output of 17 points and 13 boards.

The scores:

Magnolia 82 – Bey 25, Jalalon 17, Dela Rosa 9, Abueva 8, Barroca 8, Laput 7, Lee 6, Reavis 2, Sangalang 0, Dionisio 0, Mendoza 0.

Phoenix Super LPG 78 – Williams 27, Perkins 17, Tuffin 10, Mocon 7, Jazul 6, Tio 5, Soyud 3, Rivero 2, Manganti 1, Lalata 0, Garcia 0, Alejandro 0, Daves 0, Verano 0, Camacho 0.

Quarterscores: 30-14, 43-34, 62-60, 82-78.

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