Hotshots improve to 5-0 with 18-point rout of Batang Pier

Magnolia continued with its winning ways by dismantling NorthPort, 119-101, Sunday night in the elimination round of the PBA Season 47 Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Aranea Coliseum in Quezon City.

The lopsided victory gave the Hotshots their 5th win in as many games while the loss was the third for the Batang Pier in 6 starts.

Nick Rakocevic once again stood tall for the Hotshots as the 24-year old Serbian-American import dropped game-highs of 26 points and 14 boards to go with 4 assists and 2 blocks in 40 minutes of action.

“0-5 kami in this game, buti nakabawi agad. Good start is something coach Chito (Victolero) has always been saying. We have to start strong in the games,” said Magnolia lead assistant coach Jason Webb during the post-game presser.

“Luckily naman, the last few games, we started out strong, we’ve gotten the lead, once we’ve gotten the lead, the players that we have, they know how to handle it. It’s a recipe for success. You’d rather be leading than trailing after the first quarter,” he added.

Best Player of the Game Mark Barroca added 13 points, 2 rebounds, 8 assists and steal in 25 minutes of play.

“Shot selection kami kasi assists ang emphasis ni coach. Ang score hindi lang nanggagaling sa isa. Kahit nga import namin, di naman talaga scorer. Parang role player at lahat kami nag-be-benefit,” said Barroca.

Jerrick Ahanmisi, Jio Jalalon and Ian Sangalang fired 10 points each while Jackson Corpuz and Paul Lee chipped in 9 and 7 markers, respectively.

The Hotshots will have a one-week break before taking on Manila Clasico rival Brgy. Ginebra on Sunday, October 23, 6:45pm at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

The scores:

Magnolia 109 – Rakocevic 26, Barroca 13, Ahanmisi 10, Jalalon 10, Sangalang 10, Corpuz 9, Lee 7, Abueva 6, Dela Rosa 6, Escoto 5, Dionisio 3, Mendoza 2, Wong 2, Reavis 0, Laput 0.

NorthPort 91 – Ferrer 19, Bolick 15, Ibeh 11, Tolentino 11, Ayaay 10, Salado 6, Chan 5, Balanza 5, Sumang 3, Calma 2, Taha 1, Caperal 0, Dela ruz 0.

Quarterscores: 30-20, 56-39, 86-65, 109-91.

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