Paul Lee shoots Magnolia past Meralco for 2-0 lead
MANILA, Philippines—Magnolia pounced on a depleted Meralco side, 92-78, to take a 2-0 lead in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals Wednesday night at DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
Paul Lee scored 17 of his game-high 28 points the first half including 12 in a key stretch in the second quarter where the Hotshots climbed back from a 12-point hole.
Magnolia, which won the semis opener, 88-79, on Sunday, shoots for a commanding 3-0 series advantage on Friday.
Determined to level the series, Meralco was in the thick of the fight.
— PBA (@pbaconnect) October 6, 2021
The Bolts, however, were dealt with a huge blow in the third quarter when their star center and captain Raymond Almazan went down with an injury.
Almazan hurt his left foot during a rebound battle with Magnolia big man Ian Sangalang at the eight-minute mark.
Meralco’s woes piled up after another key cog in Cliff Hodge was hit with a disqualifying foul seven minutes later.
Sangalang notched a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Chris Newsome had 18 points for the Bolts, who shot just 35 percent from the field including 5-of-25 from long range.