Magnolia hands Ginebra first loss in PBA Philippine Cup

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The Magnolia Hotshots hung tough in the endgame to fend off Barangay Ginebra and take an 89-84 victory in a hotly-contested match in the PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.

With Ginebra trying to stage a comeback from a 14-point deficit, Magnolia wingman Rome dela Rosa canned a clutch triple to give the Hotshots an 89-84 lead with less than two minutes left in the game. Magnolia’s tough defense then held the Kings scoreless the rest of the way to capture their second win in five games.

Left-handed big man Ian Sangalang took charge for the Hotshots, compiling 24 points, nine rebounds, and two blocks, all while battling Ginebra’s prolific big men, Japeth Aguilar and Christian Standhardinger.

“We talked about the adversities, we talked about the challenges. We played three games in the last five days and we played against elite teams. Our goal is two out of three and yun naman ay nagawa namin,” said Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero after the game.

With ace wingman Paul Lee still on the injured list, guard Jio Jalalon took on the scoring cudgels and finished with 19 points, six assists, four rebounds, and three steals.

Ginebra dropped to 2-1. LA Tenorio led the Kings with 15 points, albeit on 5-of-15 shooting from the field.

Reigning MVP Scottie Thompson chipped in 13 markers, eight rebounds, and five assists, while Aguilar had a double-double of 12 points and 10 boards.

With Magnolia forward Calvin Abueva getting ejected early in the final canto, Ginebra pounced and knotted the score at 82-all with less than five minutes remaining in the game. However, Magnolia was unfazed and responded with buckets from Aris Dionisio and Jalalon to surge in front, 86-82.

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