The Magnolia Hotshots buckled down on defense in the fourth quarter to take shock the Meralco Bolts, 88-79, in Game One of the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals, on Sunday afternoon, at the Don Honorio Ventura State University gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
Calvin Abueva made several crucial plays in the fourth quarter that took the wind out of the sails of the Bolts in a highly-charged game that saw several tussles occur between players of both teams.
Battling foul trouble all game long, “The Beast” still produced 13 points, seven assists, and two steals. He had a steal off of Meralco guard Anjo Caram that led to a fastbreak slam dunk, and then, added a floater to give Magnolia an 85-74 lead with just two minutes left in the ballgame.
Ian Sangalang led the Hotshots with 18 points and eight rebounds, while Paul Lee added 17 markers. Jio Jalalon and Mark Barocca pitched in 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Bong Quinto paced Meralco with a double-double of 14 points and 10 assists while Mac Belo and Caram contributed 11 points each. Reynel Hugnatan added 10 while Chris Newsome was held down to just eight points after spraining his ankle in the third quarter.
MAGNOLIA 88 – Sangalang 18, Lee 17, Abueva 13, Jalalon 12, Barroca 11, Reavis 9, Dela Rosa 6, Dionisio 2, Corpuz 0, Ahanmisi 0, Pascual 0
MERALCO 79 – Quinto 14, Belo 11, Caram 11, Hugnatan 10, Almazan 9, Newsome 8, Pinto 6, Hodge 7, Maliksi 3, Pasaol 0
Quarters : 22-17, 47-40, 61-64, 88-79. (JNP)