MAGNOLIA finally broke its road jinx on Saturday night when it overwhelmed Meralco, 94-65, in Cagayan de Oro City to clinch the second twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals of the PBA Philippine Cup.
Coming off four straight losses in out-of-town games, the Hotshots finally translated their success in the metro on the road as they scored the lopsided victory over the Bolts in the Petron Saturday Special at the Xavier University gym.
Paul Lee sparked the blowout, providing instant offense with 21 points, including three triples, in less than 20 minutes, while Ian Sangalang and Robbie Herndon gave ample support off the bench as the Hotshots finished the eliminations with eight wins in 11 games.
The Hotshots also eliminated the Bolts from contention after handing their opponents their seventh loss against four wins.
Magnolia thus moved a half-game behind pacesetting San Miguel Beer, which claimed the first bonus in the first round of the playoffs.
The Hotshots clicked on both ends, making 37 of their 77 shots for a solid 48 percent while limiting the Bolts to just 35-percent shooting, with their dominance most evident in the third quarter where they outscored Meralco, 24-16, to break the game wide open.
Sangalang finished with 12 points, six boards, and one block in just 16 minutes, while Herndon added 10 points, four rebounds, and one assist for the Hotshots, who led by as many as 31 points.
Chris Newsome and seldom-used sub Joseph Sedurifa were the only Bolts who scored in twin digits with 13 and 10 points, respectively.
MAGNOLIA 94 – Lee 21, Sangalang 12, Herndon 10, Melton 8, Simon 8, Barroca 7, Mendoza 5, Pingris 4, Reavis 4, Gamalinda 4, Brondial 4, Pascual 4, Dela Rosa 3, Ramos 0
MERALCO 65 – Newsome 13, Sedurifa 10, Lanete 9, Caram 8, Ballesteros 6, Amer 5, Salva 4, Cañaleta 4, Faundo 4, Hugnatan 2, Tolomia 0, Dillinger 0, Baracael 0, Bono 0
Quarterscores: 20-15, 44-32, 68-48, 94-65