February 27, 2024

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Magnolia levels series, 2-2, after beating San Miguel Beer, 96-85, in Game 4

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SLAM! Tyler Bey scores on a dunk as he leads the Magnolia Hotshots’ 96-85 victory over San Miguel Beer in Game 4 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Friday night, February 9, 2024. PBA PHOTO

Magnolia leveled the playing field in the PBA Season 48 Commissioner’s Cup finals, securing a decisive 96-85 victory over San Miguel Beer in Game 4 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Friday night, February 9, 2024. 

The win, propelled by an outstanding performance from Tyler Bey, squared the series at 2-2, setting the stage for a thrilling Game 5.

Bey showcased his defensive prowess by limiting the high-scoring Bennie Boatwright to a mere 16 points on a challenging 5-of-16 shooting. 

Meanwhile, the Magnolia star delivered a standout offensive performance, amassing an impressive stat line of 26 points, 12 rebounds, and six steals. This stellar showing mirrored Magnolia’s resilience after suffering consecutive defeats at the hands of San Miguel Beer in Games 1 and 2.

Coach Chito Victolero’s defensive mindset proved to be the key, as Magnolia effectively disrupted the Beermen’s offensive rhythm, holding them to a 37 percent shooting accuracy. 

Victolero emphasized the importance of their defensive efforts. He said in the past two games.

The supporting cast for Magnolia stepped up, with Mark Barroca, Paul Lee, Ian Sangalang, and Jio Jalalon contributing crucial points. The Hotshots sealed the deal with a 24-12 exchange in the fourth quarter, showcasing their resilience and determination.

San Miguel Beer faced challenges as their top scorer, Boatwright, struggled, while June Mar Fajardo played sparingly in the second half due to calf issues. CJ Perez, the newly crowned Best Player of the Conference, added 17 points in a hard-fought, foul-riddled contest.

The series, once seemingly one-sided, has now transformed into a war of attrition. 

With the momentum and psychological edge on their side, Magnolia heads into Game 5 with a renewed sense of confidence. 

The Hotshots have successfully erased the Beermen’s 2-0 lead, turning the championship battle into a virtual best-of-three showdown.

As the teams prepare for the pivotal Game 5, Magnolia’s aggressive defensive style and fast-paced game plan will likely pose challenges for San Miguel Beer. 

The Beermen, now looking to make crucial adjustments, must contend with Magnolia’s resolute defense and the uncertainty surrounding Fajardo’s health.

The stage is set for a dogfight as both teams vie for the crucial 3-2 series lead. Magnolia seeks to maintain their momentum, while San Miguel Beer aims for a turnaround to regain control in this intense Last Dance of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

The boxscores: 

Magnolia 96 – Bey 26, Barroca 14, Lee 14, Sangalang 13, Jalalon 10, Abueva 9, Dionisio 6, Dela Rosa 2, Laput 2, Escoto 0, Tratter 0.

San Miguel 85 – Fajardo 18, Perez 17, Boatwright 16, Trollano 12, Cruz 11, Lassiter 9, Teng 2, Tautuaa 0, Ross 0.

Quarterscores: 27-19, 49-45, 72-73, 96-85

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