Hotshots tighten grip on No. 2 spot after lopsided win over Bolts

Magnolia bounced back strong from a demoralizing loss to Bay Area and defeated previously streaking Meralco, 108-96, Sunday in the elimination round of the PBA Season 47 Commissioner’s Cup at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.

The Hotshots, who outscored the Bolts in the 3rd frame by 24 to take full control of the match, picked up their 9th win in 11 outings while the MVP-owned franchise dropped to 4-6 after absorbing their first loss in the last 4 games.

According to the league’s head statistician Fidel Mangonon III, the 47 scored by Magnolia is the most by any team since Phoenix scattered 49 in the 4th quarter of a 124-117 loss to TNT in the 2016 Governors’ Cup.

Paul Lee paced the 2014 PBA Grand Slam champs with 27 points highlighted by 5-of-9 shooting from beyond the arc. He shot 3-of-6 from the 2-point area and 6-of-7 from the 15-foot line to go along with 2 rebounds and an assist in 29 minutes of action.

“I think the boys, chinallenge kasi sila ni coach Chito [Victolero] during the halftime huddle. They definitely responded. We scored 37-0 in fastbreaks and turnover points in that third quarter that turned things around,” said lead assistant Jason Webb during the post-game presser.

“It was a good bounce back. We were ran out of the floor in our last game and that’s something we want to work on,” he added.

Calvin Abueva added 17 points while Nick Rakocevic compiled a double-double of 16 points and 20 boards. Jio Jalalon scored 12 while Ian Sangalang and Mark Barroca chipped in 11 markers apiece.

The Hotshots will try to formally secure the 2nd spot in the next round when they clash with the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters on Friday, December 2, 5:45pm at the same venue.

The scores:

Magnolia 108 – Lee 27, Abueva 17, Rakocevic 16, Jalalon 12, Sangalang 11, Barroca 11, Dela Rosa 6, Ahanmisi 3, Corpuz 2, Reavis 2, Laput 1, Wong 0, Dionisio 0.

Meralco 96 – McDaniels 32, Black 16, Quinto 14, Banchero 11, Johnson 9, Almazan 8, Hodge 2, Caram 2, Pascual 2, Hugnatan 0, Maliksi 0, Pasaol 0, Jose 0.

Quarterscores: 27-21, 46-51, 93-74, 108-96.

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