Jalalon, Sangalang star as Magnolia beats NLEX for 2-1 lead
Magnolia drew big games from Jio Jalalon and Ian Sangalang to top NLEX, 106-99, and gain a 2-1 edge in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals Wednesday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Jalalon and Sangalang combined for 49 points for the Hotshots, who will shoot for a 3-1 lead on Friday night at Mall of Asia.
“Again, it’s all about the team effort and sustaining the aggressiveness and intensity. We want to carry this momentum in Game 3,” said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero.
“I’m thankful because our guards and big men stepped up especially Rafi (Reavis) and Ian. We’re undermanned but we managed to dig deep,” Victolero added.
The Hotshots played minus forward Marc Pingris and guard Justin Melton for the second straight game. Pingris is expected to miss at least six months due to an ACL injury while Melton, who suffered a strained hamstring in Game 1, is listed as day-to-day.
It was next man up for shorthanded Magnolia and Jalalon rose to the occasion, setting the tone with eight of his game-high 25 points coming in the first quarter.
The former Arellano University star hardly missed, going 10-of-13 from the field while also tallying five rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Sangalang, meanwhile, scored 17 of his 24 points in the second half, including 10 in the final frame.
Rome dela Rosa added 17 points and seven rebounds while Rafi Reavis made his presence felt on the defensive end, finishing with 10 rebounds and one block.
Reavis scored his only basket with under a minute left when he followed up his own miss to give Magnolia a 104-95 cushion.
Rookie Kiefer Ravena scored 20 points but had an inefficient night, missing 10 of his 16 attempts from the field and five out of his 12 free throws. He also committed five turnovers and was a minus-17.