WATCH: Magnolia vs NorthPort Closing Minutes [PBA S48 PH Cup | Apr. 10, 2024]

Powered by Ian Sangalang’s career game, Magnolia grounded erstwhile streaking NorthPort, 104-97, to wheel back on track in the PBA Philippine Cup Wednesday night at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

Sangalang turned in a new personal high of 32 points spiked by 13 rebounds to get the Hotshots ahead then Mark Barroca and Paul Lee led the mop-up to seal their bounceback from a two-game slide.

Coach Chito Victolero’s troops improved to an even 2-2 record while ending the four-match roll of the Batang Pier, who fell to 4-2.

Sangalang’s offensive outburst, which surpassed his previous high of 29 achieved in Game 1 of the 2028 All-Filipino finals, was complemented by the solid outings of James Laput (14), Lee (13), Jerric Ahanmisi (13), Barroca (12 plus 10 assists) and Calvin Abueva (12 boards, seven assists and six markers), who returned to action after serving his one-game suspension in their 74-87 setback to NLEX last Sunday.

“Sa dalawang talo namin we limited our opponents under-90 pero hindi naman kami naka-score,” noted Victolero after rebounding from the losses to Ginebra, 77-87, and the Road Warriors. “Our problem the last two games was our offense. So we talked about improving our ball movement. We averaged 16 assists in those losses, short of our target of 22 to 24. Tonight we had 31.”

“Naging wakeup call sa amin yung dalawang sunod na talo,” said Sangalang, who became only the fourth player in Season 48 to post a 30-10 double-double after Rain or Shine’s Leonard Santillan (31 points, 14 rebounds), NorthPort’s Arvin Tolentino (31 points, 11 assists) and NLEX’s Robert Bolick (30 points, 15 assists).

The Hotshots led by as many as 10 early on and held a 100-94 cushion going to the last 37 seconds. But they needed Barroca’s dagger jumper and Lee’s insurance freebies to fend off a Fran Yu-led late charge from NorthPort.

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