Magnolia fought back from a 16-point deficit in the 4th quarter and needed two overtime periods to finally subdue a stubborn NLEX side, 112-105, in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup, Wednesday afternoon at the Don Honorio Ventura State University gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
Calvin Abueva led the Hotshots with his league-high fourth double-double of 23 points and 12 boards to go along with 4 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks while Ian Sangalang added 21 markers including 6 of the team’s last 8 in the second overtime which sealed the deal for the 2014 PBA Grand Slam champions.
“It’s all about the grit and determination. We were down by 16, we just tried to be composed. Sabi ko lang sa kanila, we just try to limit ‘yung aming turnovers. At the same time, mababa lang namin ‘yung lead sa single digit pagdating ng fourth quarter,” said Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero during the post-game presser.
“Unti-unti, because of our determination and hustle, I’m proud of this guys. Hindi sila nag-give up,” he added.
Aris Dionisio also came up big as the sophomore forward drained a clutch triple with a little over a second left in the first OT to level the score at 104 all. He finished with 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting from the field, including 3-of-5 from beyond the arc to go with 5 rebounds in 19 minutes of action.
Paul Lee contributed 18 points but could only convert 3 out of 15 field goal attempts for a measly 20% shooting clip while Mark Barroca added a solid stat line of 13 points, 7 boards, 5 assists and 2 steals.
The Hotshots picked up their 6th victory in 8 starts while the Road Warriors, who saw their 3-game winning streak come to an end, absorbed their third defeat in 7 outings.