WATCH: Interview with Best Player Jio Jalalon and Coach Chito Victolero [Mar. 16, 2024]

PBA Season 48 Philippine Cup

Magnolia kicked off its PBA Philippine Cup campaign in dominant fashion, cruising to a 106-75 victory over Converge on Saturday night at the historic Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

Ian Sangalang led the charge for the Hotshots with 17 points, supported by solid contributions from Calvin Abueva and Jio Jalalon who each added 14 points. Magnolia showcased their firepower as they surged ahead by a commanding 33 points in the final quarter.

The win was a sweet redemption for Magnolia, coming on the heels of their heartbreaking loss to San Miguel in the Commissioner’s Cup finals just a month ago. Meanwhile, Converge continued to struggle, suffering their fifth consecutive defeat and joining Rain or Shine as the only winless teams in the conference.

Despite facing a struggling opponent, Magnolia coach Chito Victolero emphasized the importance of not underestimating their rivals.

“We talked about respect from the start of our preparation against Converge, the right approach and the right mindset,” said Victolero during the post-game press confernce.

Mark Barroca also had a significant contribution for the Hotshots with 12 points, six assists, and five steals, as they maintained a comfortable lead throughout the game, reaching their largest advantage of 98-65 with less than six minutes remaining.

For Converge, Justin Arana and Alec Stockton led the charge with 17 and 15 points respectively, while rookie Bryan Santos chipped in 13 points. The game also marked the debut of Converge’s first-round pick BJ Andrade, who showcased his potential despite a scoreless performance, contributing 3 rebounds and an assist in 13 minutes of action.

Overall, Magnolia’s decisive victory and balanced performance highlighted their strength as a contender in the Philippine Cup, while Converge will look to regroup and bounce back from their winless start to the season.

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