March 2, 2024

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Magnolia Hotshots rallies from 15 down, escapes Terrafirma in OT to keep Top 4 hopes alive in PBA Governor’s Cup

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The Magnolia Hotshots crawled out of a 15-point deficit late in regulation and came back to win in overtime, defeating Terrafirma 121-115 in a thrilling PBA Governors’ Cup game on Saturday, March 4, at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.

Despite struggling to execute on both ends of the floor, the Hotshots refused to give up and willed themselves to force overtime.

They eventually asserted themselves in the extra period to extend their head-to-head winning streak against the Dyip to 15 games.

Head coach Chito Victolero commended his team’s heart and will for making the comeback happen.

“We had a bad game, hindi kami maka-execute on both ends of the floor, but because of heart and will, nagawa namin i-overtime. At noong dumating ang chance, they’re veterans enough to know the situation. We executed better in the last five minutes
(We had a bad game, we couldn’t execute on both ends of the floor, but because of heart and will, we were able to go to overtime. And when the chance came, they’re veterans enough to know the situation. We executed better in the last five minutes),” he said.

Import Antonio Hester echoed the coach’s sentiment, saying that they took it one possession at a time and weathered the storm together.

“We took it one possession at a time in weathering the storm and in taking a stand together, that was it,” said Hester.

The game-changer came in the form of Adrian Wong’s steal off Jordan Williams, which set up Hester to tie the game at 110-110 and send it into overtime. The Hotshots then pounced on the opportunity and secured the win, keeping them in the hunt for the Top 4 at 6-4.

With their sixth win in their last seven games, the Hotshots pulled even with the Meralco Bolts at fifth place and have a chance to catch up with at least three teams in the Top 4: San Miguel Beer (7-2), Barangay Ginebra (6-2), and NLEX (7-3).

Hester finished with a monster game of 40 points and 17 rebounds, while Mark Barroca, Jio Jalalon, Calvin Abueva, and Adrian Wong contributed 16 points each, and Jalalon added 13. Abueva also had a double-double with 17 rebounds.

The Hotshots now turn their attention to their next game against Blackwater on Wednesday, where they aim to close out the eliminations with a 7-4 record.

Despite having won two straight games, the team knows they will have to execute better if they want to keep their Top 4 hopes alive.

The boxscores:

Magnolia 121 – Hester 40, Lee 16, Abueva 16, Barroca 15, Jalalon 13, Dionisio 8, Wong 6, Dela Rosa 3, Corpuz 3, Escoto 0, Reavis 0, Laput 0, Mendoza 0.

Terrafirma 115- J.Williams 45, Tiongson 19, Camson 11, Cabagnot 10, Ferrer 8, Daquioag 7, Cahilig 5, Gabayni 4, Alolino 2, Calvo 2, Ramos 0

QUARTERS: 28-26, 51-50, 74-85, 110-110, 121-115

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