Magnolia withstood a furious Brgy. Ginebra rally in the payoff period to subdue the defending champions, 89-79, in the elimination round of the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup, Sunday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Paul Lee kept the Gin Kings at bay with timely hits late in the fourth to power the Hotshots to another victory and a 3-0 start in the season-opening conference. The 2016 Commissioner’s Cup Finals MVP finished with 22 points, 3 boards, 3 assists, a steal and a block in 31 minutes of play.
“Very happy, but you know, hindi ito ‘yung tinitingnan namin sa journey namin. Maganda yung start but we will be humble and kailangan pa rin naming mag-trabaho kasi maaga pa,” said Hotshots head coach Chito Victolero during the post-game presser.
“The players gave their best effort. We had a good start in the third quarter, and credit kay Paul sa mga teammates niya, lahat ginawa nami para makuha ang game na ‘to,” he added.
Ian Sangalang added 17 points while Calvin Abueva and Mark Barroca chipped in 15 markers apiece.
The Hotshots go on a 4-day break before returning to the same venue on July 30 to take on the winless Terrafirma Dyip.