PBA: Magnolia downs Converge, clinches twice-to-beat advantage | Inquirer Sports

PBA: Magnolia downs Converge, clinches twice-to-beat advantage

/ 09:01 PM December 23, 2023

Jio Jalalon Magnolia PBA

Magnolia guard Jio Jalalon.–MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines—Magnolia overcame a slow start to beat Converge, 88-80, and become the first team to clinch a twice-to-beat advantage in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Saturday at Araneta Coliseum.

After going on a physical back-and-forth with the FiberXers in the first three quarters, the Hotshots went on a frenzy in the payoff period to improve to a 9-1 record, assuring them of a top-four finish for the playoffs.

“We played so bad in the first and second quarters. We couldn’t shoot but thankfully the other side couldn’t shoot as well but coach told us to respect them until the end,” said Jio Jalalon, who finished with 16 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, in Filipino.

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“Kuya Mark (Barroca) and the others struggled but they were still there on defense. It’s good that we defended well since Converge is a run-and-gun type of team.”

Magnolia saw itself trailing at the end of three periods, 62-60, before leaving Converge in the dust with a masterclass in the final frame.

The Hotshots opened the period with a 19-3 rally capped by back-to-back buckets from Tyler Bey in the 6:56 mark, which ultimately dictated the pace until the final buzzer.

The FiberXers, who were effectively eliminated from playoff contention with a 1-8 card, turned to Alec Stockton for a jumper in the 6:41 mark to stop the bleeding, 79-67, but it had little to no use.

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Converge, however, managed to cut the deficit down to eight, 83-75, but Jalalon’s layup high off the glass shut the door for good, 85-75, with two minutes to go in the game.

Tyler Bey recorded a double-double of his own with 17 points and 13 boards for Magnolia while James Laput also helped the cause with 10 points.

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Converge import Jamil Wilson finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds while Stockton’s 16-point outing was also for naught.

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TAGS: Converge FiberXers, Jio Jalalon, Magnolia Hotshots, PBA Commissioner's Cup

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