Calvin “The Beast” Abueva scored on a short stab right before the final buzzer to give the Magnolia Hotshots a thrilling 90-89 win over the NorthPort Batang Pier in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup at the Don Honorio Ventura State University gym in Pampanga on Friday.
Down one with just 2.6 seconds remaining, Rome dela Rosa found a cutting Abueva, who quickly turned around and lofted a shot that found the mark just before time expired to give the Hotshots the thrilling victory. The win was the Hotshots’ seventh in 10 games, which kept its bid for the second and last twice-to-beat bonus in the quarterfinals alive.
On the other hand, NorthPort dropped to a tie for eighth place with Ginebra at 4-5.
Abueva’s last-gasp basket capped off a brilliant showing by the energetic forward who had 15 points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals. More importantly, it closed out a fantastic finish for Magnolia which trailed by 17, 9-26, early in the game before finding their footing in the second quarter to bridge the gap, 44-47.
Lefty forward Ian Sangalang had 26 points to lead the Hotshots in scoring while Paul Lee added 13.
Cebuano big man Greg Slaughter returned to action for the Batang Pier and had 21 points and eight boards. (JNP)