MAGNOLIA turned to its young guns in the absence of its veteran leader as it frustrated NLEX, 106-99, to take the lead in their PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series on Wednesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Ian Sangalang and Jio Jalalon conspired in the absence of Marc Pingris as the Hotshots leaned on a late salvo to take Game Three and win for the second straight game after losing the opener of the best-of-seven playoff.
“It’s about sustaining our aggressiveness and intensity,” Hotshots coach Chito Victolero said. “Yun namana gusto namin – madala yun from Game Two.”
Game Four is on Friday night at the Mall of Asia Arena with the Hotshots looking to open a 3-1 lead.
Jalalon showed why he’s a member of Gilas Pilipinas, pouring in a game-high 25 points on 10-of-13 shooting, including four triples, four boards, three assists, and two steals in 28 minutes as a starter as he delivered on both ends as the spearhead of the Hotshots’ pesky defense.
The sophomore playmaker capped his two-way play with a tough layup that put the Hotshots up, 107-96, and proved to be the exclamation point in a see-saw, high-scoring battle that seemingly favored the Road Warriors.
Sangalang, on the other hand, anchored the middle as he registered 24 points on 10-of-15 shooting, seven boards, one assist, and one steal in almost 38 minutes of play.
Rome dela Rosa continue to provide timely offense with 17 points on 5-of-8 shooting, and seven rebounds without committing a single turnover in 36 minutes, while Paul Lee was a steady presence in the backcourt with 14 points, six assists, and three rebounds in 29 minutes.
Kiefer Ravena and Kevin Alas formed their own combination as they led the Road Warriors with 20 and 15 points, respectively, but NLEX failed to find the mark as a unit when it mattered.
MAGNOLIA 106 – Jalalon 25, Sangalang 24, Dela Rosa 17, Lee 14, Ramos 7, Simon 7, Barroca 6, Herndon 4, Reavis 2, Brondial 0, Pascual 0
NLEX 99 – Ravena 20, Alas 15, Quinahan 13, Miranda 11, Fonacier 10, Mallari 9, Al-Hussaini 8, Gotladera 6, Tiongson 3, Taulava 2, Baguio 2
Quarterscores: 24-27, 51-53, 79-78, 106-99