Hotshots slip past Bossing for 3rd straight win

Magnolia displayed exceptional composure at the free-throw line, securing a hard-fought 81-77 victory over Blackwater to notch their third consecutive win in the 2024 PBA Philippine Cup at Ninoy Aquino Stadium on Wednesday, April 17.

Facing a determined Blackwater squad that mounted a late rally in the final quarter, the Hotshots relied on clutch free throws from Paul Lee, Mark Barroca, and Calvin Abueva to secure the win.

Despite holding a commanding 17-point lead during the middle quarters, Magnolia faced a resilient Blackwater team that closed in at 76-71 with just 1:36 remaining in the game.

Barroca, the leading scorer for the Hotshots with 19 points, calmly sank two crucial free throws to extend their lead to 78-71 in the closing moments.

Rookie James Kwekuteye’s three-point shot kept Blackwater in the game, but Paul Lee sealed the victory for Magnolia with two more free throws.

Ian Sangalang contributed 10 points for the Hotshots, while Calvin Abueva recorded a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds. Lee also added 10 points to help secure the win for Magnolia.

Following the win, Magnolia moved up to fourth place in the standings with a 4-2 record, while Blackwater suffered their fifth straight defeat after starting the conference with three consecutive wins.

Despite keeping pace with Magnolia in the first half, Blackwater struggled with a significant offensive drought in the third quarter, allowing the Hotshots to build a double-digit lead heading into the final frame.

While Magnolia appeared poised for a comfortable victory, Blackwater continued to fight back, led by impressive performances from Kwekuteye and Rosario. However, the efforts fell short as Magnolia emerged victorious.

Kwekuteye finished with 23 points, while Rosario contributed 20 points and six rebounds in a losing effort for Blackwater.

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