May 24, 2024

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Magnolia bounces back in 2nd half to beat Phoenix, secure 2nd straight win

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LATE RALLY. Magnolia Hotshots recover from a shaky second period, beating Phoenix Super LPG, 107-93, via a second-half rally in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium on Sunday, April 14. PBA PHOTO

Magnolia staged an impressive comeback after a rocky second quarter to secure their second consecutive win in the PBA Philippine Cup, defeating Phoenix Super LPG 107-93 at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium on Sunday, April 14.

The Hotshots faced adversity after allowing Phoenix to erupt for 39 points in the second quarter, relinquishing their early 37-16 lead and trailing 57-47 at halftime. Coach Chito Victolero emphasized the need for defensive intensity during halftime, rallying his team to regroup and reclaim control of the game.

At halftime, Coach Victolero addressed the team’s defensive lapse, noting that allowing 39 points in the second quarter was uncharacteristic and highlighted a lack of effort. He emphasized the need for greater intensity and urgency, acknowledging that the team had performed well in the first quarter but needed to avoid complacency moving forward.

Magnolia responded emphatically in the second half, tightening their defense and limiting Phoenix to just 36 points for the entire half. Mark Barroca delivered a standout performance, tying his career-high with 27 points, while Ian Sangalang added 23 points and nine rebounds, showcasing his consistency.

However, it was the unexpected contributions from Joseph Eriobu and Abu Tratter that proved pivotal for Magnolia’s resurgence. Eriobu erupted for all 11 of his points in the second half, while Tratter added eight crucial points, propelling the Hotshots to a 79-77 lead by the end of the third quarter.

Eriobu and Tratter continued to excel in the final period, fueling a decisive 12-2 run that extended Magnolia’s advantage to 91-79, effectively putting the game out of reach for Phoenix. The Hotshots’ starters returned to the court to seal the victory, building a commanding lead of 103-85 before the final buzzer.

The win propelled Magnolia to a 3-2 record, while Phoenix fell to 2-5 in the standings. RJ Jazul led the Fuel Masters with 21 points, supported by Kenneth Tuffin’s 17 points and Jason Perkins’ 16 points, although Perkins encountered foul trouble in the second half.

Despite Phoenix’s formidable second-quarter surge, fueled by efficient shooting and offensive execution, Magnolia’s revitalized effort and resilience proved decisive in securing the victory. With the return of Javee Mocon bolstering their lineup, Phoenix showcased their potential but ultimately succumbed to Magnolia’s determined pursuit of victory.

Magnolia’s ability to overcome adversity and showcase their defensive prowess in the second half underscores their potential as contenders in the PBA Philippine Cup. As they build momentum with back-to-back wins, the Hotshots aim to continue their upward trajectory and establish themselves as formidable challengers in the league.

The boxscores:

Barangay Ginebra 95 – Standhardinger 25, Cu 24, Malonzo 14, Ahanmisi 13, Thompson 10, J.Aguilar 4, David 3, Pringle 2, Tenorio 0, Pinto 0, Onwubere 0.

NorthPort 88 – Tolentino 19, Munzon 12, Navarro 12, Bulanadi 11, Yu 8, Amores 7, Zamar 6, Calma 4, Lucero 4, Cuntapay 3, Flores 2, Rosales 0, Paraiso 0.

Quarterscores: 30-21, 43-53, 73-70, 95-88.

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