Hotshots slip past Fuel Masters for third straight win
Magnolia used a late run to escape Phoenix, 97-91, and keep its winning streak going in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup Saturday night at Cuneta Astrodome.
The Hotshots closed the game on a 13-2 in the last 3:01 to erase an 89-84 deficit and chalk up their third consecutive victory.
“It was all about mental toughness to win, perseverance and desire in the end,” said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero. “We knew Phoenix will bounce back after their loss and we expected this kind of game.”
Rafi Reavis was instrumental in just his second game back from injury as he wound up with 11 points, all of which came in the final frame, 11 rebounds and three blocks for Magnolia, which climbed to 4-1 just half a game behind idle league-leader San Miguel Beer in the standings.
Reavis was at the right place at the right time for the game-sealing basket after picking up Paul Lee’s air ball and laying it in for a 95-91 lead with only 12.8 seconds left.
The Hotshots held the Fuel Masters, who blew a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter, to without a field goal in the final three minutes.
Lee led all scorers with 20 points while Ian Sangalang added 16 points and seven rebounds for Magnolia, which out-rebounded Phoenix, 55-39, thanks to Marc Pingris’ game-high 17 boards.
Sangalang put his team ahead, 91-89, with a jumper from the free throw line with 1:05 remaining before Lee made it a four-point game, 93-89, with 42.1 ticks to go.
Magnolia also drew a stellar showing from Rome dela Rosa, who contributed 17 points and four rebounds.
Gelo Alolino had 19 points while Matthew Wright scored 17 for the Fuel Masters, who slipped to 2-3 after suffering their second setback in a row.
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