Magnolia overcame its manpower woes and NLEX’s tough stance to eke out a 112-109 victory Wednesday and remain unbeaten in the PBA Governors Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Ian Sangalang, Mark Barroca and Aris Dionisio presided over the Hotshots’ fine fourth quarter start before Mike Harris mainly took over in the crunch with timely baskets that kept them in control while keeping the Road Warriors at bay.
In the end, Magnolia bucked the absence of the injured Calvin Abueva and Rome dela Rosa while dealing NLEX a third straight loss that relegated it to a 4-3 card overall.
Harris exploded for a team-high 31 points, 10 of those in the fourth period and capped by a reverse layup against NLEX counterpart KJ McDaniels which gave Magnolia a 112-109 lead, only 12 seconds to go.
The Road Warriors tried to go for the equalizer, but McDaniels and Don Trollano missed their respective three-point tries, enabling the Hotshots to complete their fightback from as much as a 71-85 third quarter deficit.
Magnolia coach Chito Victolero gave much of the credit to his relievers, who sparked their uprising from a 79-88 count at the start of the final frame.
“We had a bad start but our second group saved us today. They gave us the energy,” said Victolero.