The Magnolia Hotshots book a semifinal slot after outlasting the Blackwater Elite 103-99 in the PBA Governors' Cup quarterfinals Tuesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Hotshots erased a seven-point deficit and engaged the Elite in a back-and-forth game in the final stretch before sealing the win.
Magnolia will face Barangay Ginebra in the semifinals.
"It's nice to be back in the semifinals," Magnolia coach Chito Victolero said. "I told the players before the game that this was not an easy game because we know Blackwater has improved a lot this conference."
Paul Lee posted 22 points and 12 rebounds for the Hotshots, who clamped down on defense to climb back from a seven-point hole early in the fourth period.
Lee also canned a pair of pressure-packed free throws with 5.6 ticks left after John Pinto clanked a corner 3-pointer for the final score.
Before that, Magnolia import Romeo Travis issued two crucial assists to Ian Sangalang and Jio Jalalon to give the team a 100-96 breather.
Blackwater refused to go quietly. On the break, Paul Zamar uncorked a trey off a Pinto handoff to pull to 100-99. After a Travis split, the Elite blew a chance to grab the lead when Pinto missed his triple attempt.
Travis finished with 18 points, 20 rebounds, and 12 assists. Ian Sangalang broke out from a slump and chipped in 18 markers on top of eight rebounds, four blocks, and two dimes.
PJ Simon had 16 points in almost 17 minutes.
"Our defense in the last six minutes was really key to the win," Victolero said.
Walker paced Blackwater with 18 points, eight rebounds, and five assists, while Poy Erram churned out 15 points and 19 rebounds. Zamar scored 13 points.
Magnolia 103 - Lee 22, Travis 18, Sangalang 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, Pinto 7, Sumang 7, Al-Hussaini 4, Javier 4, Jose 0.
Quarterscores: 32-22, 55-47, 76-78, 103-99.
-- John Pinto, whose 3-point attempt in the penultimate possession could have given the team the victory, was actually 65 percent from 3-point range.