Lethargic Hotshots go down 0-2

San Miguel proved to be unstoppable as they demolished Magnolia by 24 points, 109-85, on Sunday night at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The win gave the Beermen a commanding 2-0 edge in the best-of-seven championship series of the PBA Season 48 Commissioner’s Cup.

San Miguel took control of the game from the opening tip, only trailing by 1, 2-3, and 9-10 in the opening minutes of Game 2. They quickly moved on to dismantle the Hotshots from that point on.

Despite a halftime score of 54-41, which kept the game within reach for Magnolia, the Beermen showcased their offensive prowess with a decisive 18-3 run in the third quarter, establishing a commanding 72-44 lead at the 5:17 mark.

Magnolia managed to momentarily interrupt San Miguel’s run with an and-one play by Russel Escoto, allowing them to outscore the Beermen 14-7 and cut the deficit to 21 points, 58-79, heading into the final frame.

In the fourth quarter, Magnolia made a valiant effort to narrow the gap, bringing the deficit down to 17 points, 69-86. However, a seven-point streak by CJ Perez and Bennie Boatwright gave San Miguel an insurmountable 24-point lead, 93-69, with 6:47 remaining.

Although the Hotshots managed to reduce the deficit to 18 points, 95-77, they were unable to mount a successful comeback.

Boatwright led the Beermen with an impressive output of 34 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists, converting 13 of his 25 field goal attempts. CJ Perez added 20 points, while June Mar Fajardo chipped in 19 points.

Tyler Bey paced Magnolia with 22 points and 16 rebounds, but his efforts were not enough to secure a victory. Only two other Hotshots, Mark Barroca with 11 points and Escoto with 10, managed to reach double figures.

Magnolia will try to clinch their first win in the Finals when hostilities resume on Wednesday, February 7, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The scores:

San Miguel 109 – Boatwright 34, Perez 20, Fajardo 19, Lassiter 11, Cruz 10, Trollano 5, Ross 3, Teng 2, Tautuaa 2, Jimenez 2, Mallilin 1, Romeo 0.

Magnolia 85 – Bey 22, Barroca 11, Escoto 10, Sangalang 8, Jalalon 6, Lee 5, Corpuz 5, Dela Ros 4, Mendoza 4, Abueva 3, Laput 3, Tratter 2, Eriobu 2, Ahanmisi 0, Dionisio 0.

Quarterscores: 31-25, 54-41, 79-58, 109-85.

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