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    Paul Lee clutch as Magnolia win leaves SMB's playoff fate hanging

    Nov 16, 2022
    Paul Lee
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    MAGNOLIA formally clinched its place in the quarterfinals after beating San Miguel, 85-80, on Wednesday night in the 2022-23 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

    Nick Rakocevic was his usual, efficient self, but the Chicken Timplados still needed the late heroics of the locals led by Paul Lee and Mark Barroca to maintaine their hold of first place with an 8-1 win-loss record.

    Nick Rakocevic

    The Beermen fell to 3-5 in their return from the Fiba break, dropping their second straight game to go down to 10th in the team standings.

    June Mar Fajardo was in uniform for the first time after undergoing throat surgery but didn’t play.

    Rakocevic scored 26 points and grabbed 28 rebounds for the Hotshots, while Lee added 14 points including back-to-back threes to cap a 10-2 run to turn the game around after they trailed, 74-73, late in the game.

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    “In terms of where coach wants us to be at the moment, we are getting there. At present, we will be the number one defensively in terms of points allowed. And that’s been the target since the start of the year,” said Magnolia assistant coach Jason Webb after the team limited opponents to 80 or less during their three-game winning streak.


    Barroca had 12 points while Ian Sangalang finished with 12 points and 14 rebounds for Magnolia, which joined Bay Area and Converge as the teams which have clinched quarterfinal berths.

    Incidentally, Magnolia will be up against Bay Area in their next match-up on Saturday at the Philsports Arena.


      Devon Scott tallied 19 points and 17 rebounds while Marcio Lassiter, CJ Perez, and Vic Manuel each had 16 apiece for the Beermen, who failed to take advantage after starting out with a 10-2 lead.

      The scores:

      Magnolia 85 – Rakocevic 26, Lee 14, Sangalang 12, Barroca 12, Jalalon 6, Abueva 5, Wong 4, Corpuz 2, Ahanmisi 2, Dela Rosa 2, Laput 0, Dionisio 0.

      San Miguel 80 – Scott 19, Lassiter 16, Perez 16, Manuel 16, Tautuaa 6, Ross 3, Herndon 2, Brondial 2, Enciso 0, Cruz 0.

      Quarters: 23-25; 37-37; 65-60; 85-80.

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      PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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