Magnolia started its best-of-three quarterfinal series against NLEX on the right foot as the Hotshots registered a 98-89 victory Sunday in the first game of the PBA Season 47 Philippine Cup playoffs at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
The Chito Victolero-mentored squad outscored the Road Warriors in the second period by 19, 40-21, to turn a 24-26 deficit into a 64-47 advantage heading into the halftime break.
NLEX was able to cut the lead down to 8 several times but Magnolia always had an answer up until the end of the match.
Mark Barroca led the charge for the Hotshots with 24 points and became the 94th member of the league’s 5,000-point club when he scored his 20th in the 7:34 mark of the third quarter. The 11-year PBA veteran also contributed 7 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals in 32 minutes of play.
“Medyo maganda ‘yung execution namin on both ends, the discipline, the effort, the aggressiveness, everything,” said Victolero during the post-game presser.
“We try to sacrifice our individual talent and team ang iniisip namin ngayon. Everybody has to sacrifice. Everybody needs an extra effort para magawa namin ‘yung gusto namin,” he added.
Calvin Abueva and Paul Lee added 13 points apiece while Ian Sangalang finished with 12. Jio Jalalon had 10 points, 5 boards and 5 assists while Jackson Corpuz also scored 10.