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Magnolia vs Phoenix | PBA Season 48 Philippine Cup

Magnolia bounced back from a tough second quarter to secure a back-to-back victory for the first time in the PBA Philippine Cup. They staged a come-from-behind 107-93 win over Phoenix Super LPG on Sunday at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

After giving up 39 points to the Fuel Masters in the second period, the Hotshots tightened up their defense in the second half, allowing only 36 points. This turnaround followed their previous win against NorthPort, with a final score of 104-97.

“We had a serious talk at halftime. We allowed them to score 39 points in the second quarter and that’s not us. I think that’s the worst defensive quarter for us,” said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero during the post-game presser.

“So I told them we were outhustled and outworked in the second quarter. We did a very good job in the first quarter, but in the second we all chilled,” he added,

The 39 points surrendered in the second quarter was the most the Magnolia team had allowed since the 2021 Philippine Cup finals against TNT when they gave up 40 points in the opening quarter.

Despite Phoenix’s strong performance in the second period, erasing an early 37-16 lead by Magnolia to take a 55-44 advantage, the Hotshots managed to close the gap to 57-47 by halftime.

Mark Barroca matched his career-best with 27 points, while Ian Sangalang contributed 23 points and nine rebounds. Unexpectedly, Joseph Eriobu and Abu Tratter stepped up in the second half, combining for 19 points to help Magnolia take control of the game.

Eriobu scored all 11 of his points in the second half, while Tratter added eight points to give Magnolia a 79-77 lead at the end of the third quarter. Their efforts, along with a strong 12-2 run to start the fourth quarter, propelled the Hotshots to a commanding 91-79 lead.

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