Paul Lee propels Magnolia past San Miguel Beer
MANILA, Philippines—Magnolia coach Chito Victolero asked his charges to treat Sunday night’s battle with San Miguel as their first playoff game, and he got favorable results.
The Hotshots used a fiery fourth quarter to roll past the Beermen, 100-90, ending their PBA Philippine Cup eliminations campaign on a good note while keeping the No. 2 seed within reach.
“This is the start of our playoffs,” Victolero said during the customary post-game chat at Don Honorio Ventura State University in Bacolor, Pampanga.
“I’m really thankful that the guys committed, that they gave everything they could and worked together,” he went on.
Paul Lee took uncorked 18 of his 32 points in the final period to grease Magnolia’s breakaway en route to a 8-3 record.
Calvin Abueva, who scored just eight points, took care of everything else after tallying 10 rebounds, four assists and a block.
Ian Sanggalang turned in his usual double-double, finishing with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Jerrick Ahanmisi provided the additional punch with 11 built on a pinpoint shooting from deep.
And while his team’s showing was commendable, it’s the most Victolero could do now as they await the results Meralco’s last two elimination games, where the Bolts will need just a split of NLEX and last year’s finals tormentor Barangay Ginebra to clinch the coveted No. 2 spot that dangles a playoff armor.
“We were 7-4 last bubble but we were No. 7. Now at 8-3, we’ve learned a lot,” said Victolero. “This time … we may have lost some games, but we played consistent basketball.”
CJ Perez starred once again for San Miguel, which is already assured of a spot in the next round. The spitfire guard had 20 points, seven boards, three assists and a steal for the Beermen who dropped to 6-4 with a battle against Alaska left.
Another loss for the perennial powerhouse could trigger several complications in the race among teams in the middle, and even bottom of the pack.
But there’s no team in a worse situation than the Gin Kings, who could also figure in a three-way tie at 4-7 with Alaska and Phoenix, but could still be eliminated following the league’s quotient system.
Magnolia 100 – Lee 32, Sangalang 15, Ahanmisi 11, Barroca 9, Dionisio 8, Abueva 8, Pascual 7, Reavis 4, Corpuz 4, Jalalon 2, Dela Rosa 0, Brill 0, De Leon 0.
San Miguel 90 – Perez 20, Santos 18, Pessumal 13, Lassiter 13, Zamar 9, Fajardo 8, Tautuaa 5, Ross 4, Gotladera 0, Comboy 0, Gamalinda 0, Sena 0.
Quarters: 25-14, 47-39, 66-65, 100-90.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.