Against a defensive-minded Phoenix, Paul Lee and James Farr didn't seem to have a problem.
Lee dropped 27 points spiked by three triples, while the hulking Farr finished with 26 points to go with 18 rebounds, two steals, and three blocks as Magnolia edged Phoenix, 99-96, in the PBA Commissioner's Cup on Saturday.
Mark Barroca, Jio Jalalon, Ian Sangalang, and Rome dela Rosa combined for 37 points.
The Hotshots rolled to a third straight victory for a 3-2 win-loss record while dealing the Fuel Masters their fourth loss in six games.
Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero, though, believed it was also defense that allowed them to continue their red-hot streak in the mid-season conference.
"We expected a dogfight. We knew Phoenix is a strong team. Thanks to my players, they stepped up big on the defensive end," said Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero.
Phoenix tried to mount a comeback from 11 points down, with RJ Jazul hitting a three-pointer to move Phoenix to within six, 90-84, with two minutes remaining.
But the Hotshots, who welcomed Marc Pingris back, held off the Fuel Masters' last-minute charge on the way to the victory.
The result spoiled a 36-point, 20-rebound outing for Phoenix import Richard Howell. Matthew wright added 19 points, while RJ Jazul fired 15.
Magnolia 99 - Lee 27, Farr 26, Barroca 11, Jalalon 10, Dela Rosa 8, Sangalang 8, Brondial 7, Melton 2, Pascual 0, Pingris 0, Herndon 0.
Phoenix 96 - Howell 36, Wright 19, Jazul 15, Chua 8, Marcelo 7, Mallari 6, Wilson 3, Dennison 2, Perkins 0, Kramer 0, Intal 0.
Quarterscores: 23-24, 47-45, 71-67, 99-96.
-Marc Pingris played for the first time since suffering an ACL injury in the 2018 Philippine Cup semifinals. He went scoreless but hauled down three rebounds and dished off an assist in five minutes of action.
-Magnolia shot a woeful 8-of-26 from the three-point area. But the Hotshots made up for it downlow, scoring 44 points in the paint.
Magnolia - vs San Miguel on June 26 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum
Phoenix - vs NorthPort on June 26 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum