PBA: Hotshots advance after surviving Blackwater in thriller
Paul Lintag on Nov 06, 2018 06:44 PM
The Hotshots are back in the PBA semifinals.
The PBA playoffs is off to a great start.
Magnolia survived a game Blackwater Tuesday, holding on for a 103-99 win in the 2018 Governors' Cup quarterfinals at the Big Dome.
The Hotshots needed a defensive stop and clutch Paul Lee free throws with five seconds to go in order to move on and No. 4 Magnolia is the first to take a seat in the semifinals, making good use of its twice-to-beat advantage.
"It's nice to be back in the semis," head coach Chito Victolero said.
"I told the players it's a grinding game, this is not an easy game. Credit to Blackwater sa binigay nila na laban sa amin," he added.
Losing by 34 to the Hotshots in the elimination round, the Elite came to play in the quarterfinals.
Blackwater recovered from an early 13-point deficit and were in control in the fourth. The Elite were up by seven with six minutes to go.
However, Magnolia's superior experience would prevail in the end as Romeo Travis set up key baskets for his locals late.
He also did the heavy lifting on offense, scoring 10 points in the fourth.
Still Blackwater had the chance to steal the win and force a do-or-die game. Down two with 12.6 seconds to go, John Pinto missed a corner three and Paul Lee ended up converting two free throws on the other end to seal the final tally.
Lee led the Hotshots in scoring with 22 points while Travis had himself a triple-double with 18 points, 20 rebounds, and 12 assists. Ian Sangalang also scored 18 points for Magnolia.
The Elite, whose breakout conference ends in the first round of the playoffs, got 18 points from Henry Walker. JP Erram was the top local for Blackwater with 15 points and 19 rebouds.
Magnolia will wait for either Ginebra or NLEX in the semifinals.
Magnolia 103 - Lee 22, Travis 18, Sangalang 18, Simon 16, Barroca 9, Melton 8, Brondial 4, Reavis 3, Dela Rosa 3, Jalalon 2.
Blackwater 99 - Walker 18, Erram 15, Zamar 13, Maliksi 12, Belo 11, Digregorio 8, Pinto 7, Sumang 7, Al-Hussaini 4, Javier 4, Jose 0.
Quarters: 32-22, 55-47, 76-78, 103-99.
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