Magnolia secures spot in PBA Governors Cup quarterfinals with dominant win over NorthPort
On a night full of blowouts, Magnolia stepped up with its own juggernaut to clinch a spot in the postseason.
In the wake of NLEX’s 142-125 thrashing of Terrafirma, highlighted by a career-high 44-point explosion from Don Trollano, the Hotshots crafted their own masterpiece by thrashing the NorthPort Batang Pier, 129-109, to secure an immediate spot in the PBA Governors Cup quarterfinals.
The Hotshots avenged their previous loss to the Meralco Bolts with a 40-point comeback in this game.
They overcame a 10-point deficit in the first half (17-27) and went on to lead by as many as 30 points (80-50) in the second half.
500 level once more at 5-4, tied with the Lightning.
“Frustrated by their early failures, their body language initially lacked conviction. In the opening six minutes, the tires didn’t burst and the budget was on target “Coach Chito Victolero of Magnolia.
Victolero remarked that the team “played good basketball from there.” “Mabuti na lang naka-recover,” he continued.
The Hotshots stepped it up in the second quarter and continued their strong play all the way to the final buzzer, with five players (Antonio Hester, Mark Barroca, Rome dela Rosa, Calvin Abueva, Paul Lee, and Aris Dionisio) scoring in double figures.
Hester scored 28 points and grabbed 14 boards, Abueva added 18 points and 11 boards of his own, and Barroca scored 21 points in relief to lead Magnolia’s rout.
At halftime, the Hotshots led 73-47 after outscoring the Batang Pier 42-16 in the second quarter.
They got out of hand from there.
However, the Hotshots’ chances of finishing in the top four are extremely low at this point.
Taking both of their remaining games against Terrafirma and Blackwater would give them a 7-4 record, which would be their best possible finish. In the standings, TNT is currently 8-1, San Miguel Beer is 7-2, NLEX is 7-3, Barangay Ginebra is 5-2, and Converge is 6-3.
In the quarterfinals, the top four teams will have a twice-to-beat advantage over the next four teams, setting up a thrilling race to the finish.
Phoenix, with a record of 4-7, needs one more victory to advance past the preliminary round.
With a record of 1-9, Blackwater has been eliminated from playoff contention, while Rain or Shine and Terrafirma, along with NorthPort, are on the verge of elimination.
Kevin Murphy and Robert Bolick’s combined 61 point performance for the Dyip was wasted on a loss.
The game between Magnolia and NorthPort Batang Pier was a dominant performance by the Hotshots, who secured a spot in the PBA Governors Cup quarterfinals with their victory. Despite trailing early on, Magnolia came back strong in the second quarter and never looked back, eventually winning by a comfortable margin of 20 points.
The team’s balanced scoring, with six players scoring in double figures, was key to their success in Philippine Cup Betting. However, the Hotshots’ chances of finishing in the top four are slim, given the strong records of several other teams. Nevertheless, the race to the finish in the quarterfinals promises to be thrilling, with the top four teams earning a twice-to-beat advantage.
Overall, the game was a reminder of the high level of competition in the PBA and the talent of its players, including Kevin Murphy and Robert Bolick, who had impressive performances despite their team’s loss.
Magnolia 129 – Hester 28, Barroca 21, Dela Rosa 19, Abueva 18, Lee 16, Dionisio 15, Escoto 7, Jalalon 3, Mendoza 2, Reavis 0, Ahanmisi 0, Wong 0, Zaldivar 0, Corpuz 0.
NorthPort 109 – Murphy 31, Bolick 30, Munzon 11, Calma 9, Chan 8, Taha 6, Tolentino 4, Salado 4, Zamar 3, Sumang 2, Santos 0, Caperal 0, Balagasay 0.
Quarters: 31-31, 73-47, 98-84, 129-109