Magnolia boosts playoff hopes with crucial win over NLEX
Facing a must-win, Magnolia played with a sense of urgency and broke away in the fourth quarter to beat NLEX, 116-89, in the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Wednesday night at Mall of Asia Arena.
The struggling Hotshots, who have lost four of their last five games, got a much-needed lift from returning star big man Ian Sangalang and new yet familiar import Wayne Chism.
“It’s all about our perseverance and desire. We knew we needed this game in order for us to have a chance to make the quarterfinals and I’m very happy because my players responded,” said Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero in Filipino.
“It was nice to get Ian back and have Wayne as our new import. We finally have a post presence and we’re able to spread the floor with Chism.”
Chism, who became the Hotshots’ fourth import this conference after Vernon Macklin, Curtis Kelly and Justin Jackson, with 27 points and eight rebounds against his former coach Yeng Guiao.
Paul Lee added 21 points, four rebounds and six assists while Sangalang came off the bench and finished with nine points and six rebounds in his first game back after missing five games due to a right wrist injury.
The game also marked the PBA debut of NLEX import Olu Ashaolu, who led all scorers with 31 points on top of 12 rebounds. The Road Warriors wrapped up what has been a rollercoaster conference with a 2-9 record.
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