Magnolia beats San Miguel but still falls to No. 7
Magnolia beat San Miguel Beer, 101-97, Saturday night but the victory wasn’t enough to avoid being in a tough spot heading into the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals.
The Hotshots needed to win by at least 14 points for them not to slip into seventh place and be in a twice-to-win disadvantage against No. 2 Alaska in the first round of the playoffs.
“Going into the playoffs it’s a good game and a good victory for us. We know it’s not easy to go into the playoffs. We encountered a lot of challenges, injuries and import changes,” said Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero in Filipino.
It wasn’t the result Magnolia desired but Victolero was still pleased to take the victory.
“It was still a good last game for us because we’re able to get our character. It’s always good to win so we can’t say we’re not happy because we won. We tried to achieve winning by 14 points but this win allows us to have momentum going into the playoffs.”
The Hotshots led by as much as eight, 90-82, but the Beermen managed to keep them in a safe distance.
Wayne Chism powered Magnolia with 21 points and 14 rebounds while Ian Sangalang also posted a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Paul Lee also scored 14.
Renaldo Balkman had a game-high 31 points while June Mar Fajardo added18 points and 12 rebounds for the Beermen.
The quarterfinals begin on Monday at Smart Araneta Coliseum with a pair of best-of-three duels. No. 3 TNT takes on San Miguel in the first game before No. 4 Meralco faces Barangay Ginebra in the main game.
The other quarterfinals match-ups start on Tuesday with No. 1 Rain or Shine clashing with GlobalPort and Alaska locking horns with Magnolia.
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