Magnolia secured a spot in the quarterfinal round after outlasting the Northport Batang Pier, 90-89, in the elimination round of the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup, Friday afternoon at the Don Honorio Ventura State University in Bacolor, Pampanga.
The Hotshots were on the verge of losing the game but Calvin Abueva saved the day for the Chito Victolero-mentored squad after ‘The Beast’ converted a buzzer-beater off a sideline out-of-bounds play.
The 6-foot-3 forward out of San Sebastian College finished with 15 points on 6-of-14 shooting to go along with 5 rebounds and 4 assists.
Coach Chito Victolero said during a post-game presser that he designed the play for the 33-year-old Pampangueño.
“That’s a designed play. A back screen to Calvin (Abueva) for an alley-oop. And then kung wala ‘yun, ang next option si Paul (Lee).” said Victolero.
“Good thing na-execute. Thanks also to Rome (Dela Rosa) na malaki ang dibdib at tsaka malaki ang puso to pass it to Calvin.” he added.
Ian Sanggalang topscored for the 2014 PBA Grand Slam champs with 26 points on 50% shooting from the field while Paul Lee registered 13 points, 3 rebounds and 5 assists. Mark Barroca and Rome Dela Rosa racked up 10 points apiece.
NorthPort dropped to 4 wins and 5 losses after failing to bounce back from a defeat to TNT on Wednesday.