PBA: Nick Rakocevic powers Magnolia past Terrafirma
MANILA, Philippines-Magnolia got an impressive showing from import Nick Rakocevic to get past Terrafirma, 100-92, on Wednesday to begin its title bid in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at Mall of Asia Arena.
Rakojevic put up 45 points, including crucial baskets late, while grabbing 25 rebounds as the Hotshots overcame the Dyip comeback in the fourth to secure the victory.
Coach Chito Victolero was delighted to see the 6-foot-10 Rakocevic making good on his credentials as a former mainstay at University of Southern California and a one-time member of Serbia’s U-20 team.
“We really like his activity level because he plays on both ends of the floor,” said Victolero.
The Hotshots won despite missing the services of Calvin Abueva due to an injury.
Even Victolero had to call the shots while wearing a protective boot after suffering an Achilles injury during a recent pickup game.
Jio Jalalon was the top local scorer for Magnolia with 12 points and added seven rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Paul Lee’s three-pointer made it 94-92 for the Hotshots before they pulled away in the end to hand the Dyip a 0-2 record in the midseason tournament.
Terrafirma suffered its 18th straight loss dating back to last season’s Governors’ Cup despite 41 points from import Lester Prosper.
MAGNOLIA 100 — Rakocevic 45, Jalalon 12, Sangalang 10, Lee 9, Corpuz 9, Barroca 8, Wong 2, Dionisio 2, Dela Rosa 1, Ahanmisi 0, Mendoza 0.
TERRAFIRMA 92 — Prosper 41, Tiongson 19, Munzon 8, Cabagnot 6, Cahilig 4, Gomez de Liano 4, Ramos 4, Camson 3, Gabayni 3, Alolino 0, Calvo 0, Mina 0, Balagasay 0.
Quarters: 29-26, 59-54, 80-71, 100-92.