Magnolia advanced to the PBA Finals for the first time since the 2019 edition of the All-Filipino Conference after conquering Meralco, 93-85, Friday night in Game 6 of the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals at the Don Honorio Ventura State University in Bacolor, Pampanga.
Ian Sanggalang topscored for the Hotshots, who will face the winner of San Miguel-TNT semifinals series, with 19 points, 14 rebounds and 6 assists while Mark Barroca and Rome Dela Rosa scored 16 points apiece. Calvin Abueva added 11 markers, 6 boards and 2 dimes.
“I would like to say thank you and hats off to my coach, coach Norman Black. And the whole organization of Meralco. What a classy organization. They gave us a very good series,” said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero.
“Grabe rin silang magtrabaho, grabe rin yung effort nila. Especially, John Pinto. He’s the most consistent guard ng Meralco and pinahirapan niya talaga kami,” he added.
The Bolts had an 11-0 run at the start of the contest but they failed to force a Game 7 after falling into the hands of the 2014 PBA Grand Slam Champs.
Raymond Almazan paced the Norman Black-mentored squad with 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field while Chris Newsome racked up 14 points, 3 rebounds and 6 assists. Allein Maliksi contributed 13 markers, 4 rebounds and 2 steals.
The scores :
Magnolia 93 – Sangalang 19, Dela Rosa 16, Barroca 16, Abueva 11, Jalalon 11, Melton 6, Reavis 6, Corpuz 4, Lee 4, Ahanmisi 0, Dionisio 0.
Meralco 85 – Almazan 16, Maliksi 13, Newsome 14, Pinto 10, Hodge 9, Quinto 7, Caram 7, Hugnatan 6, Belo 3, Pasaol 0, Black 0, Jamito 0.
Quarterscores : 20-27, 44-40, 72-68, 93-85.