Hotshots on fire | Inquirer Sports

Hotshots on fire

Magnolia secures twice-to-beat bonus; NLEX stalls Alaska, keeps hopes alive
By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 05:22 AM October 27, 2018

Michael Miranda of NLEX forces Alaska import Mike Harris to give up possession. —AUGUST DELA CRUZ

Breaking away in the second period, Magnolia cruised to a 116-103 ripping of TNT KaTropa  in the PBA Governors’ Cup at Ynares Center in Antipolo City on Friday night to come closer to bagging the playoff’s top seeding while pushing the Texters against the ropes heading into the final four playdates of the elimination round.

Ian Sangalang came off the bench to score 28 points and Romeo Travis had his usual double-double as the Hotshots rose to 8-2.

They head into Sunday’s intriguing clash with sister team Barangay Ginebra with the monkey off their back, having secured a twice-to-beat privilege in the quarterfinals.

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“We won’t stop here,” Magnolia coach Chito Victolero said as his Hotshots set out to seize No. 1 spot—and the lightest quarterfinal assignment—with a victory over the Gin Kings on Sunday. “We just have one day to prepare [for the Gin Kings], but that will not be an excuse for us.”

TNT slid to 4-6 and would need to win its last game—against Ginebra next Sunday— to have a shot at making the playoffs via the backdoor.

NLEX snapped out of a three-game skid in style, rallying from 10 points down in the fourth period to clip Alaska in overtime, 116-110, and stay in the hunt for a playoff berth.

Aaron Fuller had 42 points and 21 rebounds and JR Quiñahan hit 10 of his 15 points in the extra period as the Road Warriors improved to 5-5 overall and stalled the Aces’ march to a top four finish.

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“He carried us on his shoulders tonight,” coach Yeng Guiao said of Fuller, who forged the extension at 99-all with a short stab with a little over two seconds left.

It was a disappointing finish for the Aces, who muffed two free throws that could have forced the Road Warriors to take a triple to tie instead of making Fuller work underneath for that short stab.

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Alaska dropped to 7-3.

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TAGS: Alaska, Magnolia, NLEX, PBA, PBA Governors' Cup, TNT KaTropa

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