Hotshots take over solo first with close win over Elite

Hotshots take over solo first with close win over Elite
Winning a fifth straight game, Magnolia took over solo first with a 6-1 record.

Magnolia with the great escape.

The Hotshots barely kept their winning streak in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup going, scoring a close 78-72 victory over the Blackwater Elite Friday at the MOA Arena.

Winning a fifth straight game, Magnolia took over solo first with a 6-1 record.

Losing an 18-point lead, the Hotshots got lucky in the final minute to hold on for the win.

After Mac Belo tied things up at 72 with a short jumper, Ian Sangalang responded almost immediately on the other end to regain the lead for Magnolia.

The Hotshots then got two big breaks as Belo committed a backcourt violation with 41 seconds to go and after the Elite forced a Magnolia turnover, John Pinto missed a wide-open layup that would have tied the game again in the last 18 seconds.

Magnolia simply took care of its free throws after that to seal the final tally.

"It was a very tough game because we know Blackwater will come out very hard in this game. Ang worry ko lang talaga is going complacement eh," head coach Chito Victolero said.

"So I'm just trying to motivate the players to go hard. Although we had some lapses in the end, siguro because of our chemistry, naka-lusot kami sa game na to," he added.

The Hotshots went after the Elite right from the start, unloading a 16-0 run in the opening period for an early 16-4 advantage.

Magnolia stretched that lead to as many as 18, 52-34, in the third quarter before Blackwater made its run behind Belo.

Mark Barroca and Aldrech Ramos led the way for the Hotshots with 14 points apiece while Ian Sangalang and Justin Melton added eight points each.

Belo tied his PBA career-high with 25 points, 14 in the fourth, but his two late mistakes didn't exactly help Blackwater, who dropped to 2-5 after losing a fourth straight game.

Allein Maliksi, playing against his former team, added 17 points for the Elite.

 

The Scores:

MAGNOLIA 78 — Barroca 14, Ramos 14, Melton 8, Sangalang 8, Pascual 7, Dela Rosa 6, Jalalon 6, Simon 6, Pingris 4, Herndon 3, Reavis 2, Brondial 0, Gamalinda 0.

BLACKWATER 72 — Belo 25, Maliksi 17, Cortez 8, Erram 6, Jose 4, Pinto 3, DiGregorio 2, Marcelo 2, Sena 2, Sumang 2, Palma 1, Cruz 0, Javier 0.

Quarters: 23-13, 42-29, 61-54, 78-72.

 


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