PBA: Magnolia makes semis, survives NLEX in OT | Inquirer Sports
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PBA: Magnolia makes semis, survives NLEX in OT

Paul Lee Magnolia PBA

Magnolia Hotshots guard Paul Lee tries to get past NLEX Road Warriors big man Calvin Oftana during Game 3 of the PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals at Mall of Asia Arena. PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines—Magnolia pulled off a great escape on Sunday and outlasted NLEX with a 112-106 overtime victory to gain a semifinal seat in the PBA Philippine Cup at Mall of Asia Arena.

Paul Lee’s corner three with 11.1 seconds left in regulation sent the rubber match of the best-of-three quarterfinal series to an extension before Jio Jalalon, who had 16 points, seven rebounds, six assists and two steals, made key offensive plays that enabled the Hotshots to gain a breather.

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The Hotshots eventually scuttled a late comeback bid by the Road Warriors behind Don Trollano, whose two triples cut the margin down to two from 108-100 with 1:15 left in the extra session, to arrange a semis duel with the defending champion TNT Tropang Giga.

“I’m proud of the team because they never gave up even when we were down,” said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero, whose team placed third at the end of the eliminations but was pushed to a decider after NLEX’s 90-77 win in Friday’s Game 2.

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NLEX, ranked sixth entering the playoffs, saw its campaign come to an end despite being seconds away from completing an upset.

A three by Trollano made it 96-94 for the Road Warriors with 1:34 left, eventually extending the gap to three when Calvin Oftana, who had 32 points, split two charities.

But Lee had other ideas when he knocked down the game-tying triple, 97-97 after Calvin Abueva, open at the right side, opted to make an extra pass.

Jalalon came through in overtime, scoring a layup, converting a three using the glass with the shot clock winding down before finding Abueva underneath for a 108-100 Magnolia lead, 1:15 remaining.

The scores:

MAGNOLIA 112 — Sangalang 24, Lee 21, Jalalon 16, Barroca 14, Abueva 13, Dela Rosa 12, Corpuz 6, Dionisio 4, Wong 2.

NLEX 106 — Oftana 32, Trollano 22, Alas 17, Chua 10, Semerad 8, Quinahan 8, Rosales 5, Varilla 2, Nieto 2, Soyud 0.

Quarters: 26-30, 51-54, 79-78, 97-97 (Reg), 112-106 (OT).

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TAGS: Magnolia Hotshots, NLEX Road Warriors, PBA
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