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Sangalang steps up as Magnolia inches closer to quarterfinal berth

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Magnolia tops Phoenix to stay in quarterfinal hunt (1:29)

Magnolia stayed in the hunt for a quarterfinal slot thanks to Ian Sangalang's 17 points and 20 from Romeo Travis. (1:29)

The Magnolia Hotshots welcomed Chris Banchero but it was veteran Ian Sangalang who led the way as Magnolia clobbered Phoenix 97-81 at the Cuneta Astrodome on Wednesday.

Led by Romeo Travis' 20 points and Sangalang's 17, the Hotshots improved to 5-4 in the PBA Governors' Cup and moved closer to a quarterfinal slot.

In his first game for the Hotshots, Banchero had 10 points, five rebounds, and three assists.

"I'm very happy with Chris. He did a lot for us today," said Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero.

Banchero's arrival was a big boost for the Hotshots' bench, which outscored Phoenix's, 52-15.

Victolero, though, believes it was defense that allowed them to overcome the Fuel Masters. He was on point. Magnolia made the Fuel Masters bleed for their points. Phoenix shot a woeful 30-of-87 from the field for 34.5 percent and scored 21 points off turnovers.

While Magnolia is on the rise, the Fuel Masters remained on a downhill path after absorbing a third straight loss. With a 2-7 card, they are in danger of missing the playoffs.

THE SCORES

  • Magnolia 97 - Travis 20, Sangalang 17, Lee 15, Banchero 10, Jalalon 9, Dela Rosa 8, Barroca 7, Melton 6, Pingris 4, Reavis 1.

  • Phoenix 81 - Gee 24, Wright 19, Mallari 13, Perkins 8, Napoles 7, Jazul 4, Garcia 3, Chua 2, Marcelo 1, Intal 0, Dennison 0, Kramer 0.

  • Quarterscores: 21-12, 41-31, 69-60, 97-81

EXTRA DRIBBLES

  • Victolero liked what he saw from new acquisition Banchero, who practiced twice with the team before Wednesday's game. He believes there's more up Banchero's sleeve.

  • Magnolia led from start to finish. Its biggest lead was 16, 28-12. Phoenix got to as close as three points in the third period before Magnolia regained steam.

NEXT GAMES

  • Magnolia vs. NLEX on November 10 at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.

  • Phoenix vs. Alaska on November 13 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.