Magnolia nails fifth straight victory; TNT triumphs
Magnolia clawed back from 14-points down to prevail over limping NLEX, 112-109, as the Hotshots kept their record sterling in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Wednesday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
It was also the club’s finest start ever under Chito Victolero, who hailed his team’s veterans and reserves.
“You know, they are veterans, and they know how to win, especially on the crunch time,” he said. “But that wouldn’t have been possible if not for our support group.”
“They gave us a chance to keep the game close. And then the veterans finished strong. So it’s not only the smartness or intelligence of my first group but also the effort and aggression of our second and third group,” he added.
Mike Harris had 31 points and 10 rebounds to lead all of Magnolia, while key cogs Paul Lee pumped in 21, Ian Sangalang added 14 and Mark Barroca chipped in 11, to ultimately provide the finishing kick.
But as Victolero pointed out, it was Jio Jalalon and new guy Adrian Wong’s production off the bench that kept NLEX within striking range just as the Road Warriors’ attempted to pull away.
KJ McDaniels had 35 points and 13 rebounds while skipper Kevin Alas had 22 for NLEX, which absorbed its second straight loss after opening the conference with four stellar victories.
Magnolia’s red-hot streak comes at a time when it is still reeling from injuries. Do-it-all forward Calvin Abueva and defensive ace Rome dela Rosa remain in sick bay and are expected to rejoin the team next month at the earliest.
In the other game, Mikey Williams scored 22 of his total 30 points in the fourth quarter to will TNT past San Miguel Beer, 96-81.