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Magnolia Hotshots secure 82-79 victory over Phoenix Super LPG in semis start

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The Magnolia Hotshots overcome the Phoenix Super LPG at the start of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on January 24, 2024. PBA PHOTO

Magnolia Hotshots secured a narrow victory over Phoenix Super LPG, 82-79, in a thrilling semifinal opener in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Wednesday, January 24.
The tightly contested match at the Smart Araneta Coliseum had both teams battling fiercely, with 16 deadlocks and 15 lead changes.
However, it was a pivotal play down the stretch that ultimately tilted the game in Magnolia’s favor.
The game-changing moment occurred when Tyler Bey converted a well-executed pass from Paul Lee into a crucial three-point play.
With just 87 seconds remaining, Bey’s basket gave the Hotshots an 81-78 lead, providing them with a slight advantage in a closely contested encounter.
The drama continued in the final moments as Johnathan Williams sank free throws, and Bey split his free throws, making it a three-point game with only 3.8 seconds left.
In a last-ditch effort, Phoenix’s Jason Perkins attempted a buzzer-beating triple, but the shot went slightly wide to the right, securing Magnolia’s victory.
Magnolia’s head coach, Chito Victolero, commended his team’s defensive resilience, acknowledging that their game plan was centered on limiting the opponent’s score to under 90 points.
The Hotshots, known for their defensive prowess, held firm even when their offense faced challenges against Phoenix’s tough defense.
Victolero expressed satisfaction with the team’s defensive focus, stating that the breaks went their way, because of their aggressiveness down the stretch.”
Tyler Bey emerged as the leading scorer for Magnolia, contributing 23 points and 10 rebounds to the victory. Paul Lee added 11 points, five rebounds, and three assists, while Mark Barroca chipped in 10 points, six of which came in the crucial fourth quarter.
Phoenix’s Jason Perkins led his team with an impressive 25 points, receiving support from RJ Jazul with 13 points and Javee Mocon with 11 points.
Despite a limited scoring output, Johnathan Williams showcased his versatility with a game-high 18 rebounds and seven assists.
With this hard-fought win, Magnolia takes an early lead in the best-of-five series and aims to extend it to 2-0 as the competition moves to the Mall of Asia Arena on Friday.
The intense semifinal battle promises more thrilling moments and strategic plays as both teams vie for a spot in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals.

The boxscores:
Magnolia 82 – Bey 23, Lee 11, Barroca 10, Abueva 9, Sangalang 8, Dionisio 8, Jalalon 7, Laput 6, Dela Rosa 0, Tratter 0, Mendoza 0.

Phoenix 79 – Perkins 25, Jazul 13, Mocon 11, Williams 11, Tio 6, Tuffin 5, Garcia 3, Manganti 3, Lalata 2, Verano 0, Rivero 0, Soyud 0, Alejandro 0, Daves 0, Camacho 0.

Quarterscores: 18-16, 38-41, 61-60, 82-79

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