Magnolia returns to PBA PH Cup finals, ousts Meralco
MANILA, Philippines—Magnolia made its way back to the finals after shutting the lights off on Meralco, 93-85, in Game 6 of its semifinals series in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup Friday at DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
The Hotshots ended the series against the Bolts at 4-2 and will make their first finals appearance since the 2019 Philippine Cup where they lost to San Miguel.
They will face the winner of the San Miguel-TNT series, which will be decided on Sunday in a do-or-die match.
Magnolia was forced to dig deep to erase an 11-0 start from the Bolts and that the Hotshots did as Rome Dela Rosa’s triple capped off a 23-8 run in the first half to give his team a 39-35 lead with 3:28 left in the second frame.
“Credit goes to the players, they were able to execute down the stretch, they really worked hard for this,” said Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero in Filipino. “We knew that this would be a difficult game for us because we were facing the no.2 team [in the standings].”
Victolero also praised Norman Black, his coach when he was still playing in the PBA for Sta. Lucia in 2002.
“Hats off to my coach, coach Norman, and the whole Meralco organization. What a classy organization, hats off to them.”
Ian Sangalang powered the Hotshots with 19 points, 14 rebounds, six assists, two steals, and three blocks while Dela Rosa and Mark Barroca added 16 points apiece.
Raymon Almazan led the Bolts with 16 points, 12 rebounds, one steal, and two blocks.