The Magnolia Hotshots snapped a two-game tailspin as they clobbered NLEX, 98-88, in the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena. Ian Sangalang had 21 points, including two crucial baskets with under three minutes left that kept the Road Warriors at bay. James Farr bounced back from a subpar outing in his first game with 24 points and 21 rebounds.
Farr played aggressively in the first half before Sangalang took charge in the fourth period. Sangalang rounding back into form is a welcome development for the Hotshots, who opened the mid-season conference on a two-game tailspin.
"He is still adjusting but I'm very happy for him because he can really contribute big time now," said Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero.
Farr arrived on Monday and trained with the team once before plunging into action. He had 11 points and 14 rebounds in his first game. Victolero believes his prized import, who replaced John Fields, will continue to improve.
"He stepped up even though he is still dealing with jet lag," Victolero said. "He will get better."
This victory added to the misery of the Road Warriors, who slid to their sixth straight loss. Facing his former team, Tony Mitchell paced NLEX with 22 points and 13 rebounds.
Magnolia 98 - Farr 24, Sangalang 21, Lee 11, Jalalon 10, Barroca 7, Ramos 6, Melton 5, Dela Rosa 5, Brondial 4, Herndon 3, Simon 2, Pascual 0,
NLEX 88 - Mitchell 22, Ighalo 14, Quinahan 12, Lao 8, Erram 7, Cruz 6, Galanza 5, Paredes 4, Paniamogan 3, Monfort 3, Tiongson 2, Rios 2, Baguio 0.
Quarterscores: 27-29, 45-49, 73-71, 98-88.
Coach Yeng Guiao returned for the Road Warriors. He was ejected in the fourth period for incurring his second technical foul.
Jericho Cruz made his debut for NLEX. He finished with six points, three rebounds, and eight assists.
Magnolia vs. Columbian Dyip on June 16 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
NLEX vs. Meralco on June 19 at the Mall of Asia Arena.