Magnolia started out slow and allowed Blackwater to take a double-digit advantage but picked up the slack just in time to repel the Bossing, 75-66, Friday night in the final playdate of the elimination round of the PBA Season 47 Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
The duo of Paul Lee and Calvin Abueva combined for 37 points as the Hotshots prevented a repeat of last conference’s disastrous defeat at the hands of the Dioceldo Sy-owned franchise prior to the playoffs to claim 3rd seed and arrange a best-of-three quarterfinal duel with the NLEX Road Warriors. The Bossing, on the other hand, slipped to 8th spot and will take on the San Miguel Beermen in the next round.
“I think we started very slow kasi marami kaming injuries. Now, this is the third time na kumpleto kami and going to the playoffs we have that momentum,” said Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero during the post-game press conference.
“Na-experience na namin lahat ng game. Meron kaming close, come-from-behind, merong overtime. It’s good for us going to the playoffs,” he added.
Lee scored 22 on 6-of-12 shooting including 5-of-8 from beyond the arc while Abueva notched 15 points to go with 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks in 24 minutes of action.
Ian Sangalang added 8 points on a horrendous 3-of-11 shooting while Aris Dionisio and Jackson Corpuz each chipped in 7 markers.
Rookie Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser paced the Bossing with 12 points while Rey Suerte added 8. JVee Casio and Richard Escoto contributed 7 markers apiece.
Game 1 of the QF series between the Hotshots and the Road Warriors is on Sunday, July 24, 4:30pm at the same venue.