Magnolia will make its first semifinals appearance since the 2019 edition of the All-Filipino conference after conquering Rain or Shine, 96-86, Thursday night in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup at the Don Honorio Ventura State University in Bacolor, Pampanga.
The Hotshots will face the winner of Meralco-NLEX quarterfinals series.
Paul Lee paced the 2014 PBA Grand Slam champs with 24 points on 6-of-18 shooting spiked by 4 three-pointers while Calvin Abueva posted a eye-popping double-double of 20 points and 19 rebounds. Jio Jalalon contributed 16 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals.
“It’s very hard, very hard talaga na kalaban ang Rain or Shine. Well-coached and at the same time, they have a system. I think they’re the no. 1 defensive team sa liga natin,” said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero
“I told to my players that it’s a defensive battle from start to finish. We need to execute on both ends of the floor. And also yun lang, kailangan lang namin mag-grind nang mag-grind,” he added.
The Elasto Painters’ mission of capturing their 3rd PBA title has come to an end after falling into the hands of the determined Hotshots.
James Yap topscored for the Chris Gavina-mentored squad with 16 points on 45% shooting from the field while Rey Nambatac racked up 13 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals. Rookie Leonard Santillan added 8 points and 6 boards.