Magnolia defeated Rain or Shine, 103-88, to improve to 9-0 in the PBA On Tour on Saturday at the Lamberto Macias Sports and Cultural Center in Dumaguete City.
Jio Jalalon led the way with 23 points, seven assists, and five steals, sparking the Hotshots’ 12-0 run for a 92-75 lead with eight minutes left to play, enough to seal their spot as the best team in the preseason tournament.
Coach Chito Victolero’s charges will undoubtedly finish with the best record, regardless of how their remaining games against Phoenix and Terrafirma play out.
The loss dropped the Elasto Painters to 6-2, with Blackwater (6-3) and Meralco (6-4) in third and fourth place, respectively.
Jerrick Ahanmisi added 18 points on the strength of four triples, filling in for Paul Lee who is in the United States for family reasons. Rome Dela Rosa scored 13 points while Dave Murrell added 10.
Abu Tratter and Calvin Abueva combined for 10 points but dominated the boards, grabbing 14 and 10 of Magnolia’s 62 rebounds, respectively.
Jhonard Clarito’s efforts in leading Rain or Shine, on the other hand, were squandered by the defeat. He finished with 17 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists.
Gian Mamuyac scored 14 points and Andrei Caracut added 13 for the Elasto Painters who is coming off an 106-100 victory over TNT.