Harris went on attack mode early, enabling Magnolia to lead by as many as 31 points against the team he led to a runner-up finish during the 2018 Governors’ Cup, ironically against the Hotshots.
Magnolia improved to 9-1 [win-loss] and secured the top seed in the playoffs as Alaska missed out on an opportunity to take a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals with the defeat.
The Aces dropped to 6-5 after their second straight defeat that came on the day the jersey No. 7 of Sonny Thoss was retired by the franchise in its farewell conference in the pro league.
Even with the twice-to-beat incentive already in the bag, the Hotshots never let up on the pedal as Harris scored 18 points right in the first quarter including a pair of threes to give Magnolia a 37-18 lead.
The Magnolia import also had 10 rebounds to complete a double-double.
No such thing as no-bearing game
“In the pre-game, sinabi ko lang sa kanila na there is no such thing as no-bearing [game],” said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero. “Our attitude, our mindset, and our system is the most important game is kung ano ‘yung lalaruin.”
“We tried to focus on the game at hand. We will try to get the momentum that we want going to the playoffs,” Victolero said.
Ian Sangalang came back after sitting out the previous game by finishing with 14 points, while Jio Jalalon had 12 points. Jackson Corpuz made the most of his extended minutes and knocked in 12 points for Magnolia.
RK Ilagan led Alaska with 14 points, while Olu Ashaolu had 12 points but was bleeding for points after converting just 5-of-12 from the field.
Magnolia 118 – Harris 38, Sangalang 14, Jalalon 12, Corpuz 12, Lee 8, Escoto 8, Barroca 7, Wong 7, Reavis 4, De Leon 3, Dionisio 3, Dela Rosa 2, Brill 0, Ahanmisi 0, Capobres 0.
Alaska 91 – Ilagan 14, Ahanmisi 12, Ashaolu 12, Bulanadi 11, Taha 8, Stockton 7, Teng 6, Tratter 6, DiGregorio 5, Tolomia 4, Faundo 4, Marcelino 2, Adamos 0, Publico 0, Racal 0.
Quarters: 37-18; 61-45; 87-67; 31-24.
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