Magnolia PBA title bid leans on how Tyler Bey performs

Magnolia PBA title bid leans on how Tyler Bey performs

/ 05:15 AM January 19, 2024

Tyler Bey PBA Magnolia Hotshots

Tyler Bey sparks Magnolia Hotshots into the PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals. –MARLO CUETO/

Magnolia is in a quest to rule the PBA Commissioner’s Cup and finally shed its image as a talented team that starts strong but loses steam in games that count.

And whether or not the team succeeds hinges on how Tyler Bey performs under the intense atmosphere of playoff basketball.

“Hopefully with the help of this guy, we can go all the way,” coach Chito Victolero said of Bey after the Hotshots became the first team to progress into the semifinals of the season’s only import-laden conference by eliminating the TNT Tropang Giga, 109-94, on Wednesday at PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.


Bey posted stellar numbers of 41 points, 13 rebounds, five steals and three blocks as top seed Magnolia ended a seesaw conference of traditional contender TNT, which barely made the quarterfinals as the eighth seed.

READ: PBA: Tyler Bey says matchup with Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson a ‘great experience’

He also set a Purefoods/Magnolia franchise record by hitting all of his 16 free throws, a remarkable number for a player who is a 75-percent shooter from the 15-foot line.

The former National Basketball Association draft pick of the Dallas Mavericks was glad to put up a big performance in the second phase of the conference, given the physical nature of the contest with the Tropang Giga.

He was also coming off a tough outing against Meralco to close the eliminations almost two weeks ago in Iloilo City, posting 23 points on 6-of-18 shooting, both conference lows. Bey admitted feeling in that game against a Meralco team also known for grinding it out.


“I just have to learn how to handle adversity,” said Bey. “I’m a big part of the team and I just feel like I have to step up, mentally, and just keep it going.

“[The game against TNT] was fun. I just have to keep my composure and play through non calls and bad calls,” he also said.



Bey hopes to keep his word in the semifinals, where the Hotshots could forge another showdown with Meralco or battle Phoenix, which can also be as rugged as it wants. Meralco and Phoenix had to play one more game to set up a best-of-five semifinal date with Magnolia after the Bolts scraped out a 116-107 win in triple overtime, also on Wednesday.

Meralco and Phoenix will meet in a sudden death affair on Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.

The road will only get harder for the Hotshots.

READ: Tyler Bey, ‘everyone’s best friend,’ easily forging chemistry with Hotshots

If Magnolia hurdles the semifinals and gets to battle for the crown, a sister team could await with San Miguel Beer and Barangay Ginebra favored to beat their quarterfinal foes Friday, also at the Pasig venue formerly known as the ULTRA.

San Miguel faces Rain or Shine at 4 p.m. while Ginebra battles NorthPort at 8 p.m., both needing to win to set up a semifinal clash for the second straight conference.

The Beermen and Gin Kings are both armed with the twice-to-beat advantage, but the Elastopainters and Batang Pier will look to at least delay their plans of a semifinal sister act and push their respective quarterfinal meetings to the limit.

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“We have to look at the big picture and stay at the present, and make sure that our mental preparation goes well,” said Victolero.

TAGS: Magnolia, PBA, TNT Tropang Giga

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