PBA: Magnolia eliminates Rain or Shine, enters semis
MANILA, Philippines—Magnolia advanced to the semifinals after completing a sweep of Rain or Shine, 96-86, in Game 2 of its quarterfinals series in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup Thursday at DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
The Hotshots will now face either Meralco or NLEX, who are to play a rubber match on Friday, in the penultimate round.
It was a game of runs for both sides but it was Magnolia that ultimately prevailed in the end as it raced to a 12-0 run to take an 84-71 lead at the 7:33 mark of the fourth courtesy of Calvin Abueva’s layup.
Magnolia then held on to that margin as the Elasto Painters failed to close the gap with the closest they got at 92-86 after Rey Nambatac’s three-pointer with 1:37 to play.
“We knew it would be a defensive battle so we just had to grind it out for 48 minutes, so thanks to the players for committing to the game plan,” said Hotshots head coach Chito Victolero.
Magnolia held a 68-58 lead late in the third quarter but Rain or Shine trimmed it to two, 71-69, after Anton Asistio capped off an 11-3 run with a three-point play with less than a minute remaining in the period.
Paul Lee led the Hotshots’ offense with 24 points while Calvin Abueva, who leads in the Best Player of the Conference race, imposed his will in the paint finishing with 20 points and 19 rebounds.
Jio Jalalon also finished in double digits with 16 points, six assists, and two steals while Ian Sangalang had his own double-double of 13 points and 11 boards.
James Yap finished with 16 points for the Elasto Painters.