Magnolia subdued Rain or Shine, 90-72, as both teams played their first tuneup game in preparation for the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup, Wednesday at the Ronac Art Center in San Juan.
Ian Sangalang finished with 14 points to lead the Hotshots, who had already taken a commanding 17-point lead in the third canto but had to overcome the Elasto Painters’ fourth-quarter rally.
Last season’s runners-up held a 58-41 advantage until the Elasto Painters raced back. Rain or Shine knocked to within just two, 67-65, following Clint Doliguez’s basket off a foul early in the final period.
Mark Barroca and Paul Lee then came to the rescue for Magnolia. The duo connived for nine consecutive points to give their side a 76-65 edge with 4:27 remaining on the game clock.
There was no stopping the defense-oriented Hotshots afterwards. They stifled their foes to lead by as many as 20, 88-68, after a Jackson Corpuz bucket with 1:04 left to play.
Barroca overcame foul trouble and finished with 13 points. Corpuz — whom Magnolia acquired in a trade with Columbian last December — had 13 as well, while Lee added 10 in the win.
“Okay naman. First tuneup game. We have three more weeks to prepare for our first game,” said coach Chito Victolero, as Magnolia and San Miguel will open the 45th season on March 1.
“Marami pang aayusin, marami pang kailangan i-dagdag. But for now, I’m happy naman dun sa nakita kong execution sa opensa at depensa,” added the reigning Coach of the Year.
On the other hand, Jewel Ponferrada led Rain or Shine with 17 points. Rookie Doliguez was the only other double-digit scorer with 11.
“We started slow. We tried to get the rookies early to learn about the physicality of the PBA. ‘Yun naman target namin, to get the rookies more involved in the game,” said coach Caloy Garcia.
Magnolia 90 – Sangalang 14, Barroca 13, Corpuz 13, Lee 10, Pascual 8, Melton 6, Dela Rosa 6, Calisaan 5, Jalalon 4, Banchero 3, Simon 3, Capobres 0.
Rain or Shine 72 – Ponferrada 17, Doliguez 11, Belga 9, Mocon 7, Wong 7, Tolentino 6, Rivero 5, Onwubere 4, Norwood 2, Rosales 2, Borboran 1, Araña 0, Torres 0.
Quarterscores: 20-10, 39-26, 65-55, 90-72.