Magnolia absorbed another beating in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup restart, this time falling to Rain or Shine, 75-72, Friday afternoon at the Don Honorio Ventura State University gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
Javee Mocon scattered a team-high 19 points to go along with 8 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals while rookie Leo Santillan and veteran James Yap added 14 markers apiece as the Elasto Painters arrested a 2-game slide and improved to 5-4 with just 2 games left in their elimination round schedule.
The Hotshots, on the other hand, dropped to 6-3 after suffering their 3rd defeat in the last 5 games. The 2014 PBA Grand Slam champions opened the new season with 4 straight victories but are now in danger of missing out on the twice-to-beat incentive in the next round after sliding to 4th place in the team standings behind TNT, Meralco and San Miguel.
“I was asked today if there is a sense of panic on our team and I said, it’s not in our culture. Fear to us means face everything and rise,” said Rain or Shine coach Chris Gavina during the post-game presser.
“In practice, we hold guys accountable and it comes down to the little details especially in big games like this against a Magnolia team that was playing extremely well and the margin of error against a team like that is very minimal,” he added.
Ian Sangalang paced the Hotshots with 21 points and 10 rebounds while Calvin Abueva added a double-double of his own with 12 markers and 13 boards. Mark Barroca and Paul Lee chipped in 11 points apiece.
Sophomore forward Aris Dionisio, who played the hero’s role in the team’s come-from-behind win over NLEX two days ago, was held scoreless but managed to haul down 4 rebounds in 8 minutes of action.
Rain or Shine 75 – Mocon 19, Yap 14, Santillan 14, Nambatac 8, Caracut 7, Torres 4, Norwood 2, Asistio 2, Borboran 2, Belga 2, Ponferada 1.
Magnolia 72 – Sangalang 21, Abueva 12, Barroca 11, Lee 11, Dela Rosa 7, Brill 3, Melton 3, Reavis 2, Jalalon 2, Ahanmisi 0, Dionisio 0, Corpuz 0.
Quarterscores: 16-13, 31-28, 51-53, 75-72.