Building their playoff-mode mentality, the Magnolia Hotshots collected their second win in a row after a bad start in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup, following their 109-83 dismantling of the Columbian Dyip, Wednesday evening at SMART Araneta Coliseum.
Magnolia lost a 17-point lead as Columbian raced back and knocked within four with 5:52 left in the third. But they answered back with a 19-5 blitz to end the frame with a 75-57 cushion, which put the opposition away for good.
The Hotshots improved to 3-4 while dragging the Dyip down to 4-6, rendering their quarterfinal hopes slim.
‘It’s all about our will and desire to win,” said head coach Chito Victolero, whose Magnolia have now continued their mastery over Columbian for four straight conferences. “Happy ako sa mga players ko, sa effort nila and sa defense nila.”
Ian Sangalang led the Hotshots with 16 points and six rebounds. Mark Barroca had 14 points and six assists, while Rome Dela Rosa supplied 12 points and seven boards. Seldom-used center Aldrech Ramos chimed in 10 markers.
Wednesday’s win serves as a solid morale booster for Magnolia, since they will battle long-time rivals Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in a Manila Clasico affair this Sunday, March 17, still at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
The last time the Hotshots and the Gin Kings battled each other was in Game Four of the 2018 Governors’ Cup best-of-five semifinal series, where Magnolia reigned victorious and eventually snagged the conference championship.
“We have at least three days to prepare for Ginebra. It’s going to be a good game, inaabangan talaga ng mga tao yan eh. And I think both teams are properly motivated. I hope maganda yung game sa Sunday,” said Victolero.
Rashawn McCarthy had 19 points, three rebounds, and three assists to lead Columbian. Rookie CJ Perez had 14 points, while forward Jackson Corpuz produced a double-double performance with 12 markers and 11 caroms.
The Dyip will have a chance to redeem themselves and improve their chances of entering the next round when they take on the streaking TNT KaTropa on March 22, Friday, at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
Magnolia 109 – Sangalang 16, Barroca 14, Dela Rosa 12, Ramos 10, Jalalon 9, Brondial 9, Pascual 8, Reavis 7, Melton 6, Lee 6, Simon 5, Gamalinda 4, Herndon 3, Abundo 0, Calisaan 0.
Columbian 83 – McCarthy 19, Perez 14, Corpuz 12, Camson 9, Khobuntin 6, Faundo 5, Calvo 5, Reyes 4, Gabriel 4, Cahilig 4, Agovida 1, Escoto 0, Cabrera 0, Celda 0,.
Quarterscores: 22-12, 48-38, 75-57, 109-83.