PBA: Barroca, red-hot Magnolia torch NLEX for 1-0 lead
MANILA, Philippines—Magnolia used a big second quarter and kept its foot on the pedal the rest of Sunday night for a 98-89 victory over NLEX in the opener of the PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.
The Hotshots rode the hot hands of Mark Barroca, who scored 11 of his 24 points in that huge second period which eventually gave the club a headstart in this best-of-three series.
“Wala naman ako hinahangad kundi mag-champion. Bonus na lang ‘yung awards, pero ang goal talaga ay ang championship (I’m not wishing for anything other than to win a championship. My goal really is the championship, the awards are just a bonus),” said the veteran guard, who joined the 5,000-point club.
“Siguro maganda lang talaga ‘yung ikot ng bola (We moved the ball well). We were simply just trying to find the better shot which is naging susi (became the key to this win),” said Chito Vitolero, whose charges fanned their winning streak to eight.
Paul Lee added 13 points while Calvin Abueva tossed in just as much, including a breakaway slam in the dying moments of the game as last year’s bridesmaids move closer to making the Final Four, where the Hotshots play the winner of the TNT-Converge duel.
Tony Semerad had 19 for NLEX, while Calvin Oftana and Don Trollano pumped 15 each for the Road Warriors who struggled without their foremost playmaker Kevin Alas.
Game 2 is on Friday at Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.
MAGNOLIA 98 – Barroca 24, Lee 13, Abueva 13, Sangalang 12, Jalalon 10, Corpuz 10, Dela Rosa 6, Wong 5, Dionisio 3, Reavis 2, Escoto 0.
NLEX 89 – Semerad 19, Oftana 15, Trollano 15, Nieto 12, Chua 11, Quinahan 8, Paniamogan 3, Soyud 2, Varilla 2, Ighalo 2.