MAGNOLIA advanced to the semifinals of the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup after bundling out Blackwater, 103-99, on Tuesday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Paul Lee capped a 22-point light by hitting the game-clinching free throws with five seconds left while Ian Sangalang's 18 points included four straight baskets that pushed the Hotshots ahead, 95-94, after trailing by seven points.
The loss put a sad end to a dream run by Blackwater, which posted its best finish in a conference at No. 5 but blew the chance to secure a twice-to-beat spot in the quarterfinals following a loss to Phoenix last Sunday.
“It’s nice to be back in the semis. We missed it last conference. I told my players before the game, it’s [gonna be] a grinding game. It won’t be easy because we know Blackwater improved a lot this conference,” said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero.
Romeo Travis also had a triple-double for Magnolia as he collected 18 points, 20 rebounds, and 12 assists for the Hotshots.
Magnolia fell behind, 91-84, midway through the final quarter, but the Hotshots went on an 16-5 run capped off by a three-point play by Sangalang and a short stab by Jio Jalalon to wrest the lead for good, 100-96.
Henry Walker scored 18 points while Poy Erram added 15 points in Blackwater’s final game of the season.
Magnolia 103 – Lee 22, Sangalang 18, Travis 18, Simon 16, Barroca 9, Melton 8, Brondial 4, Reavis 3, Dela Rosa 3, Jalalon 2.
Blackwater 99 – Walker 18, Erram 15, Zamar 13, Maliksi 12, Belo 11, DiGregorio 8, Sumang 7, Pinto 7, Javier 4, Al-Hussaini 4, Jose 0.
Quarters: 32-22; 55-47; 76-78; 103-99.