MAGNOLIA was dealt with another runner-up finish in the Philippine Cup of 2021. But overall, the Hotshots had an excellent campaign buoyed by the acquisition of one of the most polarizing but talented players in the league today. Other top moments of the year of Magnolia below.
ABUEVA WINS BPC AFTER TRADE TO HOTSHOTS
The Hotshots made a huge deal in a bid to strengthen their line-up as they acquired Calvin Abueva in a trade with Phoenix Super LPG for Chris Banchero last February. The trade made an immediate impact for the Hotshots, who began the Philippine Cup with four straight wins. Abueva also provided an all-around performance for the Hotshots that later resulted into the enigmatic superstar winning the Best Player of the Conference plum.
DOUBLE OVERTIME THRILLER
Magnolia was involved in one of the most thrilling games of the year when it outlasted NLEX in double overtime, 112-105, last September 8 in Bacolor. In the contest, the Hotshots overcame a 16-point fourth-quarter deficit, Aris Dionisio sending the game into a second overtime, and Ian Sangalang taking over late to come away with the hard-earned victory.
CHRISTMAS CLASICO WIN
Magnolia finally won against Barangay Ginebra in their Manila Clasico encounter on Christmas Day in 2021 after four tries, beating its archrival, 117-94, in front of fans at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum. Mike Harris, returning after playing for Alaska in 2018, had 29 points and 15 rebounds in the contest as the Hotshots won their third game to start the 2021 Governors’ Cup.
PINGRIS, SIMON JERSEY RETIREMENT
After a decade with the Purefoods franchise, Marc Pingris announced his retirement last May after winning eight out of his nine titles with the ballclub. Pingris, who also had stints with Gilas Pilipinas where he also embodied the ‘puso’ mentality in the national squad, called it a career, with his age and injuries as the prime reasons for that decision. On Christmas Day, Pingris along with PJ Simon, who retired in 2020, had their jersey numbers retired during halftime of the Magnolia-Ginebra match at the the Big Done.
MAGNOLIA SETTLES AS RUNNER-UP
The Hotshots were once again the bridesmaid for the third time in four seasons after they bowed to TNT in the Philippine Cup finals. Magnolia had a solid campaign in the conference, winning eight games in the eliminations and gaining the third seed in the playoffs. The Hotshots swept Rain or Shine, and beat Meralco in the semifinals to set a date with TNT in the finals. TNT’s firepower was just too much and the injury to Magnolia’s top gunner Paul Lee didn’t help the Hotshots cause as they lost after five games of the series.