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    Magnolia zeroes in on twice-to-beat spot, leaves Meralco on brink of exit

    Nov 27, 2022
    Paul Lee Magnolia Meralco
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    MAGNOLIA got back on track in its bid for a twice-to-beat advantage by defeating Meralco, 108-96, on Sunday in the PBA 47th Season Commissioner’s Cup at the Philsports Arena.

    The Hotshots waxed hot in the third quarter with 47 points on the way to their ninth win in 11 games, moving a step closer to securing the second of two twice-to-beat incentives in the quarterfinals.

    [READ: Ginebra beats NorthPort to revive bid for twice-to-beat spot]

    By bouncing back from its 95-89 defeat to Bay Area last week, the Hotshots can clinch the twice-to-beat advantage with a victory over Rain or Shine in their last game. Guest team Bay Area already locked up the other Top Two spot.

    Paul Lee led the furious attack of Magnolia, scoring 11 of his 27 points in the third quarter of the important victory.


      The Bolts found no answer to the Hotshots' onslaught and fell to 4-6 after seeing the end of their three-game winning streak since KJ McDaniels' arrival.

      Raymond Almazan had to be taken out of the game after rolling his ankle following a lay-up at the 10:32-mark of the fourth quarter, compounding to the woes of the Bolts who also saw Allen Maliksi get ejected in the second quater for incurring a flagrant foul and a technical foul.

      calvin abueva magnolia meralco


      Calvin Abueva contributed 17 points, five rebounds, and three assists, while import Nick Rakocevic had a double-double of 16 points and 20 rebounds for the Hotshots.

      Lee nailed three of his five threes in that 47-point third quarter - the highest-scoring quarter by any PBA team since Phoenix hit 49 in the fourth period of its 124-117 defeat against TNT in the 2016 Governors’ Cup.

      Magnolia assistant coach Jason Webb said it was a good bounce back win after the loss to the Dragons.

      “I think the boys, chinallenge kasi sila ni coach Chito [Victolero] during the halftime huddle. They definitely responded," Webb said. "We scored 37-0 in fastbreaks and turnover points in that third quarter that turned things around.

      "It was a good bounce back. We were ran out of the floor in our last game and that’s something we want to work on,” said Webb.

      McDaniels led the way with 32 points and nine rebounds, while Aaron Black contributed 16 points for the Bolts, who failed to protect a 51-46 halftime lead.

      The scores:

      Magnolia 108 – Lee 27, Abueva 17, Rakocevic 16, Jalalon 12, Sangalang 11, Barroca 11, Dela Rosa 6, Ahanmisi 3, Corpuz 2, Reavis 2, Laput 1, Wong 0, Dionisio 0.

      Meralco 96 – McDaniels 32, Black 16, Quinto 14, Banchero 11, Johnson 9, Almazan 8, Hodge 2, Caram 2, Pascual 2, Hugnatan 0, Maliksi 0, Pasaol 0, Jose 0.

      Quarters: 27-21; 46-51; 93-74; 108-96.

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      PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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