Magnolia returns to winning column, repulses GlobalPort
(UPDATED) MANILA, Philippines – The Magnolia Hotshots overcame a lethargic first half to push back the GlobalPort Batang Pier, 96-81, and end a two-game skid in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Friday, February 16.
The Hotshots shot a paltry 27.3% from the field in the first half (12-of-44) as they trailed 34-39 before finding their stride in the 3rd quarter, knocking down 13 of their 25 tries, including 5 triples, for a 69-61 lead.
Magnolia, which outscored the Batang Pier 35-22 in the 3rd period, carried the momentum and pushed its lead to as much as 19 points, 95-77, thanks to Rome dela Rosa's 9 4th quarter points.
Dela Rosa finished with a career-high 18 points off the bench to go with 4 rebounds and two steals to lead the Hotshots, who moved atop the standings with a 7-3 card.
Justin Melton registered 14 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists while Ian Sangalang also chipped in 14 points and 6 rebounds in the win.
Paul Lee, who returned from a 3-game absence due to an ankle sprain, made his presence felt with 13 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists.
"Maganda lang dinipensa namin in the second half. 'Yun 'yung storya ng game, 'yung depensa. Every time we limit our opponents to under 88 points, we have a big chance of winning the game. I think 'yun 'yung basehan ngayon," said Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero.
(We played great defense in the second half. That has been the story of the game, our defense. Every time we limit our opponents to under 88 points, we have a big chance of winning the game. I think that is the basis of our wins now.)
The Hotshots clamped down on Stanley Pringle, who had only 5 points on a dismal 1-of-12 shooting.
Kelly Nabong had a double-double of 21 points and 12 rebounds for GlobalPort, which dropped to 4-5 for 7th place tied with the Blackwater Elite and the Phoenix Fuel Masters.
Sean Anthony chalked up 12 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists against 5 turnovers in the loss. Jonathan Grey and Jeric Teng added 13 and 12 points, respectively.
Magnolia (96): Dela Rosa 18, Melton 14, Sangalang 14, Lee 13, Barroca 12, Ramos 11, Pingris 6, Jalalon 5, Simon 2, Reavis 1, Brondial 0, Herndon 0
Globalport (81): Nabong 21, Grey 13, Anthony 12, Teng 12, Araña 5, Pringle 5, Gabayni 4, Sargent 3, Elorde 2, Flores 2, Taha 2, Guinto 0, Juico 0
Quarter scores: 17-22, 34-39, 69-61, 96-81