MAGNOLIA won for a third straight time over Rain or Shine, 82-74 to move on the cusp of a place in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup Finals on Wednesday night.
Veteran Rafi Reavis became the unlikely hero for the Hotshots, scoring five of the team's last nine points to seal the deal in Game 5 of the best-of-seven series at the Astrodome.
The Hotshots, who trailed in the series early on, 0-2, go for the clincher in Friday's Game Six at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
Asked if his team can make it four straight against the second-seeded Elasto Painters, coach Chito Victolero said the Hotshots will give it their best shot.
"We will try. The goal is to win four games to win the series," he said. "We will try to close it out on Friday because we know Rain or Shine can also come back."
Ynares Center also happens to be one lucky venue for the Hotshots, who won their first title in four years in the same Antipolo gym last year.
"Magandang balita yan," added Victolero.
On Wednesday night, Game Five still hang in the balance in the final two minutes until Reavis came through with five straight points.
He completed a three-point play that made it a seven-point Magnolia lead. And after after Rain or Shine threatened anew following a three-pointer by Ed Daquioag, Jio Jalalon found Reavis inside to make it an 80-74 contest in the final 38 seconds.
Reavis finished with nine points and 12 rebounds for the Hotshots, who managed to eke out the win despite top gunner Paul Lee being held scoreless on 0-of-8 shooting.
Guards Mark Barroca and Jio Jalalon had 14 each to show the way for Magnolia.
Rain or Shine was led by Gabe Norwood with 15 points, while James Yap added 12, although the two-time MVP was held to a 3-of-10 shooting.
In all, the Elasto Painters made just 30 percent of their shots.
"We just tried to be consistent playing Magnolia Hotshots basketball which is more of a defensive mindset. We just try to focus more on our defense, bring their score under 90 points," added Victolero.
Magnolia (82) - Jalalon 14, Barroca 14, Reavis 9, Brondial 9, Herndon 8, Sangalang 8, Ramos 7, Dela Rosa 7, Melton 6, Lee 0.
Rain or Shine (74) - Norwood 15, Yap 12, Borboran 11, Daquioag 9, Torres 8, Nambatac 6, Belga 5, Mocon 3, Rosales 3, Ahanmisi 2.
Quarterscores: 16-10; 40-34; 58-57; 82-74.