June 15, 2024

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Magnolia Hotshots beat Phoenix Super LPG, 82-78, to take 2-0 semis lead

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TEAM EFFORT. Paul Lee gets the needed help from his teammates as the Magnolia Hotshots defeat the Phoenix Super LPG, 82-78, to extend its lead, 2-0, in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup best-of-five semifinal series on Friday night, January 26, 2024, at the Mall of Asia Arena. PBA PHOTO

Magnolia Hotshots secured a critical 82-78 victory against Phoenix Super LPG, taking a commanding 2-0 lead in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals series at the Mall of Asia Arena on Friday, January 26, 2024.
After a stellar performance by Paul Lee in the series opener, the Hotshots showcased a collective effort in the second game, overcoming a 71-76 deficit with a decisive 10-0 run down the stretch.
Jio Jalalon, Tyler Bey, and James Laput played vital roles in the crucial surge that propelled Magnolia to an 81-76 lead.
Coach Chito Victolero praised Lee’s shot-making ability, especially highlighting his clock-beating triple from near the halfcourt logo. He knew Lee could make any shot.
Bey echoed the sentiment, expressing confidence in Lee’s ability to make crucial shots.
Jalalon contributed to the surge with a well-timed runner, while Bey not only assisted Laput for a three-point play to tie the game at 76-all but also scored on a drive to give Magnolia the lead.
Lee’s remarkable long-range shot practically sealed Phoenix’s fate, leaving them without a significant threat in the final seconds.
Despite facing foul trouble and sitting out for nearly seven minutes in the third period, Bey delivered an outstanding performance, finishing with 25 points and 12 rebounds.
Jalalon added 17 points, six boards, and three assists, while Lee chipped in six points.
Johnathan Williams led Phoenix with game-highs of 27 points and 16 rebounds, showcasing an impressive double-double performance.
Jason Perkins contributed 17 points and 13 rebounds, despite going scoreless in the opening quarter.
Magnolia initially built a comfortable lead, reaching as much as 30-14 early in the game.
However, Phoenix mounted a comeback, threatening to overtake Magnolia. Williams and Perkins combined to put Phoenix ahead, setting the stage for a tense final stretch.
Coach Victolero acknowledged that Magnolia was outhustled and outworked for the majority of the game. However, the team matched Phoenix’s energy, aggressiveness, and effort in the crucial last four minutes, securing the victory.
With a 2-0 series lead, Magnolia now looks ahead to Sunday’s Game 3, aiming to close out the series and advance to the PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals.
Phoenix, on the other hand, will strive to bounce back and keep their championship hopes alive.

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