February 29, 2024

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Magnolia Hotshots defeat Blackwater Bossing, keep playoff hopes alive

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Magnolia Hotshots defeated Blackwater Bossing, 110-95, on Wednesday, at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo.

The victory kept Magnolia’s hopes alive of securing a coveted spot in the PBA Governors Cup playoffs.

Calvin Abueva and Rome dela Rosa were instrumental in the Hotshots’ win, scoring clutch baskets in the final stretch of the game. Antonio Hester also had a monster game, contributing 22 points and 20 rebounds.

Magnolia finished the elimination round with a 7-4 record and is now waiting for the results of other games to see if they will make it to the top four and secure a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.

Coach Chito Victolero is confident in his team’s readiness for the playoffs, saying that they are ready to crank up their game at least a notch.

“What we can control iyun ang aming tratrabahuhin, which is the game today. Then whatever happens to the other teams, hindi naming iyun kontrolado. Whatever iyung ibigay sa amin in the playoffs at least we have the chance, the opportunity (What we can control is what we will work on, which is the game today. Then whatever happens to the other teams, we don’t control that. Whatever is given to us in the playoffs, at least we have the chance, the opportunity),” Victolero said.

He added, “Iyon ang pinaka-importante because at the start of the conference, we’re down 0-3 right away and most of the people are doubting na baka hindi kami umabot sa playoffs. But at least in the last eight games we’re 7-1. Right now, I think ‘yung character nandiyan na, nabi-build (That is the most important because at the start of the conference, we’re down 0-3 right away, and most people are doubting that we might not reach the playoffs. But at least in the last eight games, we’re 7-1. Right now, I think the character is already there, being built).”

Abueva had a special day, scoring a game-high 27 points to go with 13 rebounds. He became the 96th member of the 5,000-point club, achieving the feat as early as the opening period.

On the other hand, Blackwater Bossing’s ninth straight loss dropped them to a 1-10 slate.

Shawn Glover had 22 points, Jayvee Casio contributed 20 points and 10 assists, and Baser Amer added 16 points.

Despite the loss, Blackwater put up a big fight, with Amer suddenly lighting up the scoreboard with four triples, and Casio following suit with two of his own. They were able to bring the deficit down to 89-95 after falling behind by as much as 61-85.

However, Magnolia was able to withstand the Bossing’s surge and quickly regained order, thanks to Dela Rosa and Abueva’s 10-2 run that put their team ahead, 105-91, with only 3:15 left in the game.

TOPSCORER. Calvin Abueva, who finished with 27 points, lifts the Magnolia Hotshots to a 110-195 win over Blackwater Bossing at the Ynares Sports Center on March 8. PBA PHOTO

The boxscores:

Magnolia 110 – Abueva 27, Hester 22, Escoto 17, Dela Rosa 14, Lee 9, Dionisio 8, Barroca 6, Jalalon 4, Corpuz 3, Ahanmisi 0, Wong 0.

Blackwater 95 – Glover 22, Casio 20, Amer 16, Ular 12, Sena 6, Hill 6, Ayonayon 6, Ilagan 5, Suerte 2, Torralba 0, Rosario 0, Banal 0.

Quarters: 32-20, 48-45, 87-66, 110-95

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