MANILA, Philippines–Playing with command pretty much most of the night, Magnolia foiled Meralco’s plans of chugging towards a PBA Governors’ Cup title rematch against Barangay Ginebra.
The Hotshots flexed their defensive muscles in the second frame, shackling the Bolts to just 11 points on the way to a 94-73 victory Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum that dragged this semifinals to a deciding Game 5.
“‘No more tomorrow,’ that was the mentality,” coach Chito Victolero on the heels of a physical contest that kept alive a championship pitting corporate siblings under the San Miguel Corp. banner.
“We talked about grinding possession by possession. Also, I felt like we’ve lost enjoyment of the game the past few games,” he added.
Mike Harris dropped 34 points and 18 rebounds, while Paul Lee and Calvin Abuea chipped in 17 and 11 points, respectively.
Meralco managed to move within 73-67 halfway through the final frame but timely shots from Harris, Abueva, and Lee who has been playing on a bum left ankle doused the Bolts’ fightback, eventually paving the way for the biggest lead, 92-70, with 1:47 left in the game.
Import Tony Bishop Jr. had 22 points and 16 rebounds. Chris Newsome was the only other Bolt to score in double figures with 11.
“We only tied the series. We haven’t achieved anything at this point. So we’re looking forward to the do-or-die this Friday,” said Victolero.
Magnolia 94 – Harris 34, Lee 17, Abueva 11, Jalalon 10, Corpuz 9, Barroca 5, Sangalang 4, Reavis 2, Brill 2, Wong 0, Dela Rosa 0.
Meralco 73 – Bishop 22, Newsome 11, Almazan 8, Banchero 7, Maliksi 7, Quinto 6, Caram 4, Hodge 3, Black 3, Baclao 2, Canete 0 , Pasaol 0.
Quarters: 20-19, 42-30, 62-52, 94-73.
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