ANTIPOLO CITY - Magnolia extended its mastery over Alaska as it hacked out a 103-86 victory on Saturday in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Ynares Center.
The trio of Ian Sangalang, Paul Lee, and Mark Barroca came up big for the Hotshots, who raised their record to 2-4 and keep alive its bid for a playoffs berth.
The encounter was the first between the two teams since the Hotshots beat the Aces in six games for the Governors Cup title at the same Antipolo playing venue.
'Medyo lucky kami sa gym na ito. Everytime we need a 'W' dinadala kami dito," said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero afterwards. "Siguro lLucky charm namin itong Ynares."
Luck and coupled by the 24 points and 14 rebounds of Sangalang, the 20 and eight boards of Lee, along with the 19 of Barroca put the Hotshots back in playoff contention after initially losing four of their first five outings.
"We have to adopt the playoff mentality. We need to have that sense of urgency, yung aming mindset, nag-start na yung run namin ngayon sa playoffs," said Victolero.
"And everytime yung sitwasyon na ganito, they will setp up. They will lock in sa mga ginagawa namin. Yung character ng team, yung chemistry nandiyan."
That was none more obvious than in the second quarter when Lee took over from Sangalang and delivered eight points as the Hotshots outscored the Aces, 27-15, to take a 12-point lead with them at the break.
Although Alaska threatened in the fourth by coming to within eight points, Magnolia was able to weather the rally and coasted to the win.
Alaska fell to an even 3-3 card as it failed to score a follow-up win to its runaway 104-78 win over Barangay Ginebra last week.
Chris Banchero finished with 26 points but was held to just five in the second half in a losing cause with the Aces.
The setback also put to naught the double-double effort of sophomore guard Jeron Teng, who had 17 points and 14 rebounds.
Magnolia (103) - Sangalang 24, Lee 20, Barroca 19, Brondial 12, Jalalon 12, Reavis 7, Ramos 3, Herndon 2, Melton 2, Dela Rosa 2, Pascual 0.
Alaska (86) - Banchero 26, Teng 17, Exciminiano 13, Cruz 9, Ayaay 6, Enciso 5, Thoss 4, Pascual 4, Baclao 2, Galliguez 0, Andrada 0.
Quarterscores: 27-27; 54-42; 75-59; 103-86.