Magnolia pulled off a comeback of epic proportions to frustrate Barangay Ginebra, 93-91, and remain the only unbeaten team in the PBA Season 48 Commissioner’s Cup on Sunday night at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
Tyler Bey put up a Herculean effort in strapping the Hotshots on his back in the fourth quarter before Jio Jalalon’s split from the line with six seconds left to play helped the Hotshots complete the rally from as much as 26 points down.
Bey finished with 31 points and 10 rebounds with five steals, while Jalalon made 15 points, five rebounds, and three assists as the two gamely responded to head coach Chito Victolero’s wake-up call to the whole team at the half.
“At halftime, I kept on reminding them, actually shouting at them about how they outworked us in the first half, outhustled us in the first half, and how they bullied us in the first half,” said Victolero as they were down 60-35 at the half.
“I challenged these guys to play the Magnolia Hotshots basketball system … Because they scored 60 points in the first half and that’s not our system.”
Jalalon scored nine of his points in the third before Bey took over in the final period, where he went on to score 16 of the team’s last 23 points.
Bey was the one who tied the game up at 86-all following a split but the Kings got the lead back when Maverick Ahanmisi’s triple got counted after initially being negated as it happened while Paul Lee fouled Tony Bishop.
Bishop would once again push their lead to three, 91-88, following a perfect trip to the line moments after Mark Barroca’s floater on the other end. But it would prove to be the final time that the Barangay would get ahead.
Bishop got called for a foul on Bey, who then proceeded to can both his charities to cut the gap. The latter would eventually retake the lead, 92-91, behind another perfect trip to the line off a Scottie Thompson foul with 11 seconds left.
Thompson had a chance to make up for it when the Kings went to him for the potential go-ahead layup but was stopped by Barroca mid-air — a play that didn’t sit well for Coach Tim Cone as they felt there should’ve been a foul.
Jalalon would be fouled by Christian Standhardinger to stop the clock and the do-it-all guard would split his freebies with 5.5 seconds left.
The Kings had one last chance to tie the ball game but Standhardinger airballed the jumper contested by Ian Sangalang as time expired.
“They responded very well to my challenge. Thankful to all my players. I’m very proud of them,” Victolero lauded.
Magnolia will have the luxury of respite before facing NLEX on December 1, Friday, 8 p.m. at the Philsports Arena as it shoots for win no. 5.
Ahanmisi and Bishop, on the other hand, finished with 21 points apiece to lead the reigning champions, who fell to 1-1 following the meltdown.
Standardinger registered 13 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists. Thompson tallied a 12-8-9 stat line. Japeth Aguilar had 12 points as well in the loss as the starting five did most of the carrying for the Barangay.
Ginebra will look to bounce back against the winless Rain or Shine (0-3) on Friday, November 24, 8 p.m. also at the Big Dome.
Magnolia 93 – Bey 31, Jalalon 15, Barroca 13, Lee 9, Sangalang 8, Dela Rosa 6, J.Ahanmisi 5, Reavis 0, Tratter 0, Eriobu 0, Dionisio 0.
Ginebra 91 – M. Ahanmisi 21, Bishop 21, Standhardinger 13, J.Aguilar 12, Thompson 12, Pringle 9, Pinto 3, Cu 0, Pessumal 0.
Quarterscores: 16-34, 35-60, 64-72, 93-91