Magnolia’s move-forward attitude paid huge dividends as it walloped Blackwater, 94-78, Friday to get back on track in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Don Honorio Ventura State U Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
Ian Sangalang and Mark Barroca each had 16 points and Calvin Abueva notched a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds as the Hotshots fully put the memories of a bitter 94-95 loss to Meralco just two days earlier behind them.
What’s more, Magnolia jacked its record to 5-1 and a share of second-running spot going into their last five games in the eliminations where the top two finishers would be rewarded with a twice-to-beat advantage over a lower-ranked team in the quarterfinals.
“I like our chances,” said Hotshots coach Chito Victolero. “At least, kontrolado namin… kung saan namin gustong mapunta.”
Even that loss to Meralco, which came after his team blew a 13-point lead in the last two minutes, served his team in good stead, according to Victolero. “We had a chance to correct mali namin,” he said.
“Nagkaroon ng sense of urgency ang team,” added Victolero. “We don’t want that to happen again. We wanted to bounce back hard in this game. Very important ang game na ito para sa amin.”
Indeed, there was no such collapse for Magnolia this time although Blackwater did come charging back from 19 points down to threaten at 77-87.
But Sangalang completed a three-point play and Abueva canned two charities to practically put the game away 92-77, only 1:25 left.
Magnolia 94 – Sangalang 16, Barroca 16, Lee 15, Abueva 14, Ahanmisi 12, Jalalon 7, Corpuz 6, Dela Rosa 4, Brill 2, Rwavis 2, Melrton 0, De Leon 0, Capobres 0, Pascual 0, Dionisio 0.
Blackwater 78 – Nabong 19, Tolomia 16, Amer 9, Daquioag 8, Paras 6, Canaleta 6, Cruz 6, Enciso 5, Escoto 2, Golla 1, Dennison 0, Magat 0, Torralba 0, Deisderio 0.
Quarters:22-26, 44-41, 70-57, 94-78