PBA: Magnolia clinches quarterfinals berth with rout of NorthPort | Inquirer Sports

PBA: Magnolia clinches quarterfinals berth with rout of NorthPort

/ 10:05 PM March 02, 2023

Magnolia import Antonio Hester. –PBA IMAGES

Magnolia import Antonio Hester. –PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines–Magnolia bucked a slow start and dominated NorthPort with a 129-109 victory that sealed its place in the quarterfinals of the PBA Governors’ Cup on Thursday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Import Antonio Hester led a big turnaround while Rome dela Rosa and Aris Dionisio were among those who stepped up as the Hotshots bounced back from Sunday’s loss to the Meralco Bolts.


The win put Magnolia at 5-4 while allowing Barangay Ginebra (5-2) and Meralco (5-4) to also reach the quarters following NorthPort’s defeat.


“Good thing we were able to recover and play good basketball,” said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero after NorthPort raced to a 22-12 lead in the opening period.

Hester had 28 points and 14 rebounds as he played a major role in the Hotshots turnaround while Dela Rosa scored 19 after making seven of 10 shots.

Dionisio came off the bench to produce 15 points and seven rebounds even as Mark Barroca (21 points and eight assists), Calvin Abueva (18 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and three steals) and Paul Lee (16 points ) also produced vital numbers.

The Hotshots kept a slim chance at the twice-to-beat advantage with two games left in the eliminations, all against lowly sides.

Terrafirma will be Magnolia’s next opponent on Saturday at Philsports Arena in Pasig City before tackling Blackwater on Wednesday at Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

Import Kevin Murphy scored 31 points while Robert Bolick had 30, but had just two in the first half, as NorthPort saw its streak of back-to-back victories snapped and fell to 2-7.


NorthPort remains in contention for the last quarters berth, but will need to sweep its last two games and for eighth-ranked Phoenix, at 4-5, to drop the same number of matches to force a playoff.

The scores:

MAGNOLIA 129 — Hester 28, Barroca 21, Dela Rosa 19, Abueva 18, Lee 16, Dionisio 15, Escoto 7, Jalalon 3, Mendoza 2, Reavis 0, Ahanmisi 0, Wong 0, Zaldivar 0, Corpuz 0.

NORTHPORT 109 — Murphy 31, Bolick 30, Munzon 11, Calma 9, Chan 8, Taha 6, Tolentino 4, Salado 4, Zamar 3, Sumang 2, Santos 0, Caperal 0, Balagasay 0.

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Quarters: 31-31, 73-47, 98-84, 129-109.


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TAGS: Magnolia Hotshots, PBA Governors' Cup

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