Hotshots improve to 6-4 as Hester haunts former team with 40-piece double-double

Magnolia refused to roll over and stormed back from a 15-point deficit with just 4:39 left on the game clock to force overtime and eventually clinch the win, 121-115, Saturday night in the elimination round of the PBA Season 47 Governors’ Cup at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.

After Dyip big man Joseph Gabayni scored on a layup to give his team a 107-92 edge, the Hotshots unleased an 18-3 scoring barrage capped by an Adrian Wong steal off Jordan Williams and a basket by Antonio Hester to send the game into an extra period.

The Chito Victolero-mentored squad continued the onslaught in overtime and outscored their opponents 11-5 to seal their 6th win in 10 outings while eliminating the Dyip who plunged to 2-8 after the heartbreaking defeat.

Hester, who’s first foray into the league was with Terrafirma, punished his former team with double-double output of 40 points and 17 boards. The 32-year old native of Miami, Florida also contributed 2 assists, 2 steals and a block in 47 minutes of play.

“Sinabi ko lang sa kanila na that is the chance, we need to grab that chance because binigay na sa amin eh. Kung hindi pa namin ‘yun sasamantalahin, mahihirapan talaga kami,” said Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero during the post-game press conference.

“I think they’re veteran enough to know the situation, and I think we executed very well in the last five minutes,” he added.

“I waited for the big run eh. Actually that happened in the last two minutes eh. Hindi kami talaga naggi-give up e. ‘Yung mga players ko, hindi naggi-give up since pa nung nagumpisa ako. That’s our mantra.”

Paul Lee dropped 16 but could only convert 1-of-9 attempts from beyond the arc. Calvin Abueva had the same scoring output in addition to 17 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal. Mark Barroca and Jio Jalalon chipped in 15 and 13 markers, respectively.

The Hotshots close out their schedule on Wednesday, March 8, 3:00pm against the Blackwater Bossing at Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

The scores:

Magnolia 121 – Hester 40, Lee 16, Abueva 16, Barroca 15, Jalalon 13, Dionisio 8, Wong 6, Dela Rosa 3, Corpuz 3, Escoto 0, Reavis 0, Laput 0, Mendoza 0.

Terrafirma 115 – J.Williams 45, Tiongson 19, Camson 11, Cabagnot 10, Ferrer 8, Daquioag 7, Cahilig 5, Gabayni 4, Alolino 2, Calvo 2, Ramos 0.

Quarterscores: 28-26, 51-50, 74-85, 110-110, 121-115 (OT).

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