Magnolia survived the ejection of enigmatic forward Calvin Abueva and trounced previously unbeaten Brgy. Ginebra, 89-84, Sunday night in the elimination round of the PBA Season 47 Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The 34-year old Abueva, who earlier vowed to bounce back after a forgettable showing against San Miguel two nights ago, incurred his second technical foul of the game in the 9:15 mark of the payoff period and was eventually tossed out of the match. He finished with 9 points on 4-of-10 shooting to go with 8 rebounds, 2 assist and a steal in 24 minutes of play.
Ian Sangalang paced the Hotshots with a game-high 24 points in addition to 9 rebounds, an assist and 2 blocks in 40 minutes of action. Jio Jalalon also had a commendable performance as the 5-foot-9 spitfire contributed 19 points, 4 boards, 6 assists and 3 steals.
“I think it’s the desire, the will to win, and then the mental toughness. Alam naman namin kung gaano kalakas ang Ginebra. Kumpleto ang materyales, lahat, andoon na ‘yung crowd, everything,” said Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero during the post-game press conference.
“Talagang ang dami namin kailangan bigyan ng pansin, or big factor, sa game na ‘to. But you know, sabi ko nga, magawa lang namin, ma-execute lang namin ‘yung game plan namin, and mag-enjoy kami sa game,” he added.
Jackson Corpuz had 9 points and 6 rebounds while Adrian Wong and Rome dela Rosa chipped in 7 markers apiece.
The Hotshots will try to make back-to-back wins when they take on the streaking Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters on Friday, June 24 at the same venue.