Hotshots hold off Dyip; Tropang Giga add to Painters’ woes
Magnolia bucked one hurdle after another to pull out a 105-83 victory over Terrafirma at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City on Friday, keeping its unblemished record in the PBA Philippine Cup for a firm grip of the elimination round lead.
Ian Sangalang paced the Hotshots with 18 points, while Mark Barroca chipped in 16 more off the bench, plugging the hole left by Paul Lee, who exited the game just before the halftime break.
“Good thing that we had Mark. A veteran. He’s young. He’s good for another 10 to 12 years,” Magnolia coach Chito Victolero said in jest.
On a serious note, the champion mentor said the triumph was a result of his charges coming in with the “proper mindset” despite going up against a team that has yet to win a single game here.
“We wanted to respect this Terrafirma team,” he said. “In the last three days of our preparations, that has been my teaching. I didn’t want us to relax.”
Like they never left
Meanwhile, after satisfying the league’s COVID-19 protocols TNT turned to its defense to take down Rain or Shine, 79-69, as the Tropang Giga picked up from where they left off.
“We’re nowhere near the kind of fluidity we want with the break that we were forced to take and then with Mikey (Williams) just having three practices with us,” said coach Chot Reyes
“We knew we were going to struggle offensively, but we told ourselves, ‘let’s just figure out a way to make stops and win this game with our defense,’” he added.
Indeed, TNT was far from the potent scoring machine it is known for as main guns Troy Rosario and Roger Pogoy accounted for just 13 points each, with Glenn Kobhuntin being the only other Tropang Giga to score in double digits.
They were, however, truly more assertive on defense.
TNT cornered Rain or Shine—the finest defensive team entering today’s games—to 16 turnovers, and then turned those errors into 21 points.
Javee Mocon had 22 points, the only starter to score more than six. Mark Borboran added 12 more off the bench as the 3-2 Painters suffered their second-straight setback.
“We just had to stay the course and focus on the things that are within our control—and the things that are within our control are how hard we practice when we came back from our quarantine,” said Reyes, whose team last saw action in a win over Terrafirma on July 17.
Williams, the fourth overall pick of the draft, was lackluster in his first game in a TNT uniform, finishing with just seven points. Jerrick breaks out
If it’s any consolation, Reyes knows there is plenty of basketball left to play for Mikey and the Tropang Giga. At 2-0, growth should be the least of his worries. “We all just have to stay patient. And like I said, continue building,” he added.
Magnolia, on the other hand, had its rookie—10th overall pick Jerrick Ahanmisi—playing his breakout game. He poured in all of his 15 points in the final frame.
“We’ve been waiting for this kind of performance from Jerrick for the last three games as he’s been doing well in practice,” Victolero said of his young ward, who pretty much greased the Hotshots’ breakaway in the fourth period.
Calvin Abueva, Jackson Corpuz and Jio Jalalon all tallied twin-digits, helping Magnolia truly manage without Lee who according to Victolero, was kept on the sidelines as a precautionary measure.
Roosevelt Adams finished with 25 points, turning in the finest scoring performance of his young career. Juami Tiongson added 19 as Terrafirma slid to 0-3.
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