Defending champion Magnolia showed their old, deadly form, running roughshod over the NorthPort Batang Pier, 96-80, to collect their first win in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup Friday night at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
Center Ian Sangalang topbilled for the Hotshots with 28 points and nine rebounds in the victory that avenged their 92-98 loss to the Meralco Bolts in their conference debut last week.
Romeo Travis fell just an assist short of a triple-double with 17 points, 12 rebounds, and nine assists, Mark Barroca provided 16 points, as Rome Dela Rosa chimed in 10 markers.
“Natuto kami nun last game and kung ano man na-experience last game ay nadala namin ngayong game. We played forty-eight minutes of very good basketball,” said coach Chito Victolero.
“We played ‘yung gusto namin mangyari which is a defensive game,” added the reigning Coach of the Year.
Defense was truly the key for Magnolia especially in the second frame, where it limited NorthPort to just eight points while erupting for 37 to turn a seven-point deficit to a 53-31 lead at the half.
The game would never be on question from then on. The Hotshots led by as many as 31 points, 75-44, after a three-point play by Sangalang with 4:17 left in the third chapter.
“Yun ‘yung goal namin, to bring back our defensive mentality,” said Victolero. “We only allowed our opponents to score eighty points and magandang simula ‘yun … nakabawi kami ngayon.”
Mychal Ammons had 18 points and 15 rebounds while Kevin Ferrer also had the same amount of points to lead the Batang Pier, who have fallen to 1-1 following the humiliating loss.
Magnolia will next face Rain or Shine (1-1) next Friday, October 4, at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, while NorthPort will go up against Columbian (1-1) on October 2, Wednesday, still at the Big Dome.
Magnolia (96) – Sangalang 28, Travis 17, Barroca 16, Dela Rosa 10, Jalalon 6, Reavis 5, Abundo 5, Melton 3, Lee 3, Brondial 3, Pingris 1, Simon 0, Herndon 0.
NorthPort (80) – Ammons 18, Ferrer 18, Mercado 9, Tautuaa 9, Bolick 7, Elorde 6, King 5, Escoto 3, Taha 2, Cruz 2, Lanete 1.
Quarterscores: 16-23, 53-31, 82-52, 96-80.
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