PBA: Magnolia secures second seed, beats Rain or Shine | Inquirer Sports
PBA

PBA: Magnolia secures second seed, beats Rain or Shine

/ 09:30 PM December 02, 2022
Magnolia import Nick Rakocevic. –PBA IMAGES

Magnolia import Nick Rakocevic. –PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines–Magnolia used a strong finishing kick on Friday night to pull the rug from under Rain or Shine, 106-90, and clinch the No. 2 spot in the 2022 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

Import Nick Rakocevic finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds while Ian Sangalang added 16 and seven to help the Hotshots finish the elimination phase with a 10-2 record and ultimately snare the mouthwatering win-once perk come playoff time.

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Both big men hit key baskets in that 21-5 run to ice the game at PhilSports Arena.

“This is just 20 percent of the goal—to get that twice-to-beat incentive. the next goal is the semis. But we need to focus and play hard against Phoenix,” said Chito Victolero, who graced the post-game chat for the first time since going under the knife to repair a torn Achilles tendon.

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“They’re playing great right now. What’s important is to respect that organization. We don’t know what coach Topex (Robinson) is going to hurl against us. Hopefully the remaining days we’re able to [draw up a good gameplan,” he added. “This is the playoffs. There’s no easy matchup here.”

Paul Lee chipped in 16 more while Calvin Abueva and Mark Barroca added 12 each to send the Painters to a you-or-me for the No. 8 spot against NLEX.

Santi Santillan and Rey Nambatac both had 15 points while import Ryan Pearson tossed in 15 more, but the club will be needing more effort if it hopes to prevail over the Road Warriors this Sunday again at the refurbished Pasig City venue.

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