After three consecutive defeats, the Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok are back on the winning track in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup. They ended their drought with a 111-89 victory over the TNT KaTropa at the Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday evening.
The Hotshots used a huge third quarter to overcome a first half deficit and take the lead. Paul Lee led the way by scoring 17 of his 25 points in the third period as Magnolia outscored TNT, 36-25.
Even with Lee resting on the bench in the fourth, Magnolia's lead continued to balloon. The rest of the Hotshots teamed up for a 20-3 run to open the final frame. They did it on both ends, executing seamlessly on offense and forcing TNT to miss their first seven shots.
The Hotshots saw their lead reach a high of 24 points as they poured in 68 points in the second half alone.
With frustration building up for TNT, Joshua Smith committed a flagrant foul on Kyle Pascual with 6:15 remaining. Coach Nash Racela opted to sit him out the rest of the game. He finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Justin Jackson provided a double-double of 18 points and 19 rebounds for Magnolia. He also had five assists and two blocks to make up for his five turnovers.
The Hotshots got a lot of help from their locals. Rodney Brondial was a pleasant surprise as he went off for 16 points and eight rebounds while hitting two three-pointers. Jio Jalalon had 13 points while Aldrech Ramos and Mark Barroca had 9 apiece.
Terrence Romeo topscored for TNT with 17 points. Jayson Castro could only chip in nine points as he was a poor 1-for-7 from the field.
Magnolia 111 - Lee 25, Jackson 18, Brondial 16, Jalalon 13, Ramos 9, Barroca 9, Melton 7, Dela Rosa 5, Simon 3, Reavis 2, Pascual 2, Herndon 2.
TNT 89 - Romeo 17, Pogoy 16, Smith 12, Reyes 9, Castro 9, Semerad 7, Williams 6, Rosario 5, Cruz 4, Taha 2, Trollano 2, Carey 0
Quarters: 18-25, 43-48, 79-73, 111-89
- Fresh from representing the Philippines in the FIBA 3X3 World Cup, Roger Pogoy played limited but quality minutes for TNT. Before the game began, he said that he was feeling under the weather and that he hasn't fully recovered from the FIBA 3X3 World Cup. He still scored 16 points in just 18 minutes for the KaTropa.
- Magnolia played its fourth game in 12 days. TNT played its first in ten days.
TNT versus San Miguel on June 16 (Saturday) at the Mall of Asia Arena
Magnolia versus Brgy. Ginebra on June 17 (Sunday) at the Smart Araneta Coliseum