Hotshots blow lead, escape Painters in Game 4 to tie semis series
MANILA, Philippines–Magnolia coach Chito Victolero knew the Holy Week break was going to pay dividends in their campaign in the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals.
The results were very evident in the Hotshots’ 94-91 victory over Rain or Shine in Game 4, Monday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.
Behind the trio of Paul Lee, Ian Sangalang and Mark Barroca, the Hotshots took control of the game early, generating a gap big enough to cushion the Elasto Painters’ spirited rallies in the second half.
“We only tied the series,” Vitolero said. “We knew that we needed to come in hard. So we used our experience, our energy and aggressiveness to win this game.”
Reprising the same intensity on both ends of the court that netted them the win in Game 3, Magnolia held fort—most notably in the final moments, when James Yap and Maverick Ahanmisi teamed up for a run that brought the Painters to within one.
“We knew they’d come back. But we held on to our lead. Even if it’s 20 points or a point, if it’s a win, I’d take it,” he added in Filipino.
Sangalang wound up producing the most for Magnolia with 19 points. Lee had 15 while Barroca 11 before getting the boot halfway through the final frame.
Jio Jalalon, who was among the other four Hotshots who contributed 10 or more points, sank the foul shots that iced the game deal and leveled the playing field at 2-2.
“The break helped us a lot. Jio regained has energy. Paul was in his usual game. It’s good to get rest. But we’re going back on preparing tomorrow for Game 5,” Victolero said.
Yap, who was clamped down to just single digits in his first three games, sank triple from the left wing to nudge the Painters closer. He had another look from almost the same spot that could’ve sent the game into overtime.
The two teams meet again on Wednesday night at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay. Tip-off is at 7 p.m.
Magnolia 94 – Sangalang 19, Lee 15, Jalalon 12, Melton 11, Barroca 11, Reavis 10, Dela Rosa 10, Brondial 4, Ramos 2, Herndon 0, Simon 0.
Rain or Shine 91 – Yap 24, Mocon 14, Norwood 10, Nambatav 9, Borboran 9, Belga 7, Ahanmisi 7, Daquioag 5, Ponferada 4, Rosales 2, Torres 0.
Quarterscores: 28-20, 56-37, 80-64, 94-91.
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