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    Magnolia weathers TNT comeback, stays unbeaten

    Feb 11, 2022
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    Paul Lee of Magnolia goes for a drive against TNT guard Gab Banal.

    MIKE Harris scored 41 points and grabbed 18 rebounds as Magnolia stayed unbeaten after weathering a fiery TNT comeback, 96-93, on Friday night in the PBA Governors’ Cup restart at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

    Harris staked the Hotshots to a 19-point first-quarter lead and teamed up with Paul Lee, Mark Barroca and Calvin Abueva to turn back a fightback that saw TNT cut the lead to two on back-to-back Kib Montalbo three-pointers.

    A free throw by Barroca and a rebound by Harris wrapped up Magnolia's fourth straight win at the resumption of their campaign in the season-ending conference - and a measure of revenge against the team that beat it in the Philippine Cup Finals.

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      More importantly, they stayed on top of the team standings in their first game since winning over Barangay Ginebra on Christmas day last year.

      “It’s not only the talent of Mike but his leadership,” said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero. “He led us in the fourth quarter. He stabilized the team especially when TNT made some runs in the fourth. We played good defense in the last five minutes of the fourth. That’s one key factor kung bakit namin nakuha ‘yung panalo.”

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      Quickfire Harris

      Harris got Magnolia bursting out of the gates with 14 points in the first quarter, enabling the Hotshots to take a 25-9 lead. The import also had 11 in the third even as TNT was able to cut the deficit to five, 71-66, entering the fourth.

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      When TNT took the lead briefly, 78-77, Magnolia turned to Harris who scored a crucial three-point play to give the Hotshots an 85-78 advantage.

      Paul Lee had 15 points including two free throws with 24.1 seconds left that made it a 95-91 lead. Mark Barroca added 14 points.

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        Aaron Fuller tallied 21 points and 11 rebounds while Mikey Williams added 17 points. Gab Banal had 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting as TNT fell to 2-3 at the start of a whirlwind week that will see it play on short rest due to some of its players doing double duty for Gilas Pilipinas in the Fiba Basketball World Cup Asian qualifiers later this month.

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        Roger Pogoy was sidelined in the contest due to an injury. Poy Erram also played for only nine minutes after hurting his back.

        The scores:

        Magnolia 96 – Harris 41, Lee 15, Barroca 14, Sangalang 7, Jalalon 6, Abueva 6, Reavis 4, Ahanmisi 3, Corpuz 0, Wong 0, Dionisio 0.

        TNT 93 – Fuller 21, M. Williams 17, Banal 16, Castro 15, Montalbo 8, K. Williams 7, Erram 5, Reyes 3, Rosario 1, Ganuelas-Rosser 0, Khobuntin 0, Heruela 0.

        Quarters: 31-14; 52-39; 71-66; 96-93.

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        Paul Lee of Magnolia goes for a drive against TNT guard Gab Banal.
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