Magnolia overcame a shortage of manpower and a 14-point deficit in the 3rd frame to subdue NLEX, 112-109, Wednesday in the 2021 PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Ian Sangalang, Mark Barroca and Aris Dionisio presided over a blistering 4th quarter run which erased an 11-point advantage and tied the game at 92 with 7 minutes left on the game clock. Mike Harris then finished the job with clutch hits to preserve win number 5 for the champions of the 2018 edition.
Harris led the Hotshots with a double-double of 31 points and 10 boards while Paul Lee backstopped their prolific reinforcement with 21 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal.
“It’s all about our effort. We had a bad start, but the second group saved us today. Our bench saved us today, and credit to them. They gave us the energy,” said head coach Chito Victolero during the post-game presser.
“I think credit to the players ‘yung start namin, ‘yung 5-0 namin, credit to them, because they committed doon sa system. Talagang in-embrace nila ‘yung ginagawa namin,” he added.
Magnolia played without Calvin Abueva, Rome dela Rosa and big man James Laput due to injuries.
“Yung mga ganitong mga games, talagang kailangan namin ‘to eh,” said Victolero. “Buti na lang, medyo beterano talaga ang mga players ko.”
Sangalang finished with 14 while Barroca and Jalalon added 11 and 9 markers, respectively. Newcomer Adrian Wong contributed 8 points, 2 boards and a steal in 20 minutes of action.
The Hotshots take a 2-day break before resuming with their campaign on the 19th when they take on the surging Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters.