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Magnolia Hotshots erase 22-point deficit, stun Road Warriors

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Paul Lee's epic shot boosts Magnolia (3:55)

Paul Lee's four-point play with 32.5 seconds remaining gives the Magnolia Hotshots a 103-100 win over NLEX in the PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday. (3:55)

Paul Lee completed a four-point play with 32.5 seconds left to give the Magnolia Hotshots a 103-100 win over NLEX in the PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday.

Coming off a screen, Lee took a pass from Jio Jalalon at the top of the key and swished a triple while drawing a foul from Anthony Semerad. He made the bonus free throw to give the Hotshots a 101-100 lead.

"It was a designed play for Paul," Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero said. "That's a double screen for Paul. And I told him, if he's open, go (take the shot). If not, there's a pick and roll. But you know Paul Lee. He's Paul Lee. Even though he's struggling, in the end, he will take the shot. And I know that we will give the last shot to either Paul, Mark (Barroca), or Ian (Sangalang). But now I gave it to Paul and I thank him (for making the shot)."

Kiefer Ravena, who led the Road Warriors with 27 points, had a chance to give the Road Warriors back the lead but his turnaround jumper rattled out. Mark Barroca hit two free throws with 15 seconds left to give Magnolia a three-point cushion, which turned out to be the final score after Ravena missed a triple with three seconds left.

It was Jio Jalalon and Chris Banchero, though, who led a third quarter comeback that allowed the Hotshots to erase a 22-point deficit and claim its first victory for a 1-1 record.

It was Jio Jalalon and Chris Banchero, though, who led a third quarter comeback that allowed the Hotshots to erase a 22-point deficit and claim its first victory for a 1-1 record.

Jalalon finished with 19 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, and 5 steals and Banchero had the same number of points to go with four boards and three dimes.

Sensing the game was getting out of their reach, Hotshots employed a full court pressure and trimmed a 22-point gap little by little until they finally took an 82-80 lead with 8:41 remaining on Mark Barroca's runner.

While they struggled to get their shots to fall for most of the match, scoring came easily for the Hotshots in the final stretch. Lee uncorked a 3, Jackson Corpuz sliced through the defenders for the layup, and Chris Banchero hit a jumper.

Still, it was a back-and-forth affair inside the final four minutes. With Quiñahan and Kevin Alas fouling out and Jericho Cruz spraining his ankle in the final minutes, Ravena had to carry most of the load.

Running on fumes, Ravena nailed a turnaround jumper to give the Road Warriors a 97-99 cushion with 1:17 left. NLEX rookie Mike Ayonayon split his free throws for a 100-97 lead with 40 ticks to go. Eight seconds later, Lee swished that three-pointer on top of the key plus the bonus free throw.

NLEX remained winless in two games in the bubble.

THE SCORES

Magnolia 103 - Banchero 19, Jalalon 19, Lee 18, Barroca 13, Sangalang 9, Corpuz 9, Dionisio 8, Reavis 4, Dela Rosa 4, Melton 0, Calisaan 0.

NLEX 100 - Ravena 27, Alas 18, Cruz 17, Quiñahan 16, Porter 5, Semerad 5, Ayonayon 5, Soyud 4, Ighalo 3, Miranda 0, Varilla 0, Galanza 0, Taulava 0.

Quarterscores: 23-23, 39-50, 70-78 , 103-100

EXTRA DRIBBLES

  • Magnolia was coming off a 94-78 loss to San Miguel Beermen in the opener seven months ago before play was halted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • When he checked in with over four minutes remaining in the first quarter, Asi Taulava officially becomes the first to play in four separate decades.

  • Rookie Aris Dionisio finally saw action for Magnolia. He was not able to play in the opener seven months ago owing to problems with regard to requirements. He started for the Hotshots in today's game and finished with 8 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists.

  • Marc Pingris and team manager Alvin Patrimonio showed support for Magnolia as part of the virtual crowd.

NEXT GAMES

  • Magnolia vs. Alaska, Oct.17

  • NLEX vs. Blackwater, Oct. 17