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PBA: Magnolia’s balanced attack sends Phoenix skidding

ANTIPOLO – Magnolia sent the once-fiery Phoenix Super LPG skidding by way of a 90-80 result to further tighten its grip on the 2022-23 PBA Commissioner’s Cup leadership, Saturday night at the Ynares Center here.

The Hotshots came out firing and did well enough in the final minutes to ward off the Fuel Masters on the way to their second win in a row, seventh overall in eight games to bolster their bid of a Top Two finish for the quarters.

“‘Yung journey namin sa elimination, hinati namin sa dalawa e, sa dalawang phase,” shared head coach Chito Victolero.

“This is our second game of the next phase. I’m very satisfied because we gave up 69 points on Blackwater, and then 80 points in this game. We went back to our identity, which is being a defensive-minded team,” he added.

Nick Rakocevic finished with 18 points and 18 rebounds to lead Magnolia’s balanced attack, where a total of six players finished in double figures.

Calvin Abueva tallied his own double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Jio Jalalon flirted with a triple-double as he registered 12 points, on top of eight rebounds and nine assists plus a steal in 32 minutes as a starter.

Mark Barroca supplied 11 points, while the tandem of Paul Lee and Ian Sangalang chipped in 10 markers apiece for the Hotshots.

“Seven-one, okay, but madaming nakabuntot diyan e. We just try to stay humble, and at the same time we need to stay hungry and prepare for our next game,” said Victolero, as they lock horns with San Miguel Beer on Wednesday.

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Sean Anthony, meanwhile, finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds for Phoenix Super LPG in the defeat, stepping up on the night import Kaleb Wesson only had nine points although he hauled down 18 rebounds.

RJ Jazul had 11 while Javee Mocon chimed in 10 for the Fuel Masters, who went down to 5-5 as their comeback fell short no thanks to the little recovery they had from their high-scoring duel with Converge last Wednesday.

Phoenix is now off to its last two matches of the elimination round, first against the Beermen as well next Saturday and then Terrafirma on the 26th.

The Scores:

Magnolia 90 Rakocevic 18, Abueva 15, Jalalon 12, Barroca 11, Lee 10, Sangalang 10, Dela Rosa 8, Wong 4, Dionisio 2, Corpuz 0, Ahanmisi 0.

Phoenix Super LPG 80 – Anthony 17, Jazul 11, Mocon 10, Wesson 9, Tio 7, Manganti 5, Rios 5, Perkins 4, Camacho 4, Garcia 3, Adamos 3, Robles 2, Pascual 0, Serrano 0.

Quarterscores: 27-18, 50-36, 76-66, 90-80.

The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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