Hotshots snap Beermen’s 11-game win streak, trim Finals deficit 2-1

In a crucial game that could make or break their championship hopes in the PBA Season 48 Commissioner’s Cup Finals, Magnolia rose to the occasion.

Despite facing a daunting challenge, the Hotshots relied on their steadfast defense to stifle the Beermen’s offense, securing an 88-80 victory and narrowing SMB’s lead in the best-of-seven title series to 2-1.

Tyler Bey prioritized defensive efforts over his own scoring, effectively containing San Miguel’s Bennie Boatwright.

Despite Boatwright’s impressive 27-point performance in addition to 13 rebounds, his shooting suffered as he struggled against Magnolia’s suffocating defense. Missing 9 out of 13 three-point attempts and making just ten of twenty-eight overall, Boatwright also grappled with eight turnovers in the face of Magnolia’s relentless defensive pressure.

Bey had a subdued performance, scoring only 11 points, his lowest in the PBA, and grabbing just six rebounds. However, Magnolia coach Chito Victolero was unfazed.

“Tyler is also a very skilled player, very athletic, long and he’s quick and I Think he’s the best player assigned to (guard) Boatwright. Hopefully in our next game, he’ll be able to do the same thing, same job and same mentality on defense,” said Victolero during the post-game press conference.

He mentioned that the team’s two-day break over the weekend allowed the Hotshots to recuperate after a grueling quarterfinal against the Phoenix Fuel Masters.

“We had a hard time doing our defensive schemes because they (players) are all humans. They feel tired too, but the good thing is we have that rest and so we were able to get our defensive mentality back and hold out opponents to under 88 points,” he added.

Magnolia’s robust defense held San Miguel to a mere 34.1 percent shooting. Despite being known for their prowess in three-point shooting, the Beermen struggled from beyond the arc, managing only 7-of-36 attempts at a meager 19.4 percent success rate.

San Miguel’s impressive winning streak of 11 games came to an end with a loss, matching the franchise’s best record.

This defeat also marked the first time the Beermen had lost a game with Boatwright as their import, following 10 consecutive victories.

Mark Barroca displayed remarkable determination by contributing 20 points, six assists, four rebounds, and two steals.

Paul Lee emerged from a two-game shooting slump to score 12 points. Aris Dionisio provided crucial support off the bench with 11 points, including 3 three-pointers.

Ian Sangalang added 11 points while Jio Jalalon recorded 10 points along with 7 rebounds and 5 assists.

The scores:

Magnolia 88 – Barroca 20, Lee 12, Bey 11, Sangalang 11, Dionisio 11, Jalalon 10, Dela Rosa 7, Abueva 6, Reavis 0, Laput 0, Escoto 0.

San Miguel 80 – Boatwright 27, Perez 16, Fajardo 11, Teng 10, Trollano 7, Lassiter 4, Brondial 3, Ross 2, Enciso 0, Tautuaa 0.

Quarterscores: 24-15, 42-39, 63-58, 88-80.

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