Hotshots tighten defense in 2nd half, take down Fuel Masters for 2nd straight win

Magnolia orchestrated a remarkable comeback in the second half to outlast a depleted Phoenix squad, securing a 107-93 victory in the 2024 PBA Philippine Cup at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium on Sunday, April 14.

Despite struggling to contain Phoenix’s sharp outside shooting in the initial two quarters, the Hotshots tightened their defense in the latter half while offensive stalwarts Mark Barroca and Ian Sangalang spearheaded their team’s resurgence.

Barroca, battling a wrist injury on his shooting hand, defied the odds by delivering a career-high tying 27 points, complemented by Sangalang’s impressive performance of 23 points, nine rebounds, and four assists.

While Barroca and Sangalang excelled offensively, it was Magnolia’s suffocating defense that truly shifted the momentum in their favor, limiting Phoenix to just 36 points in the final two quarters.

The Hotshots displayed a significant defensive improvement after allowing Phoenix to erupt for 39 points, including eight three-pointers, in the second quarter.

Trailing by double digits during that stretch, Coach Chito Victolero’s squad made crucial adjustments in the second half to stage a remarkable turnaround.

Magnolia seized control of the game by the end of the third quarter and extended their lead in the final frame with a blistering 17-3 run, establishing a commanding 16-point advantage at 86-70.

Securing their second consecutive victory, the Hotshots improved to a 3-2 record while handing the Fuel Masters their fifth loss of the conference at 2-5.

Jio Jalalon and Joseph Eriobu also made significant contributions with 13 and 11 points, respectively, aiding Magnolia’s victory.

Phoenix, missing key players like Tyler Tio, Sean Manganti, and RR Garcia due to injuries, leaned on RJ Jazul’s 21 points, fueled by five three-pointers. Ken Tuffin added 17 points, including three three-pointers, while Jason Perkins chipped in 16 points.

The scores:

Magnolia 107 – Barroca 27, Sangalang 23, Jalalon 13, Eriobu 11, Tratter 8, Dionisio 7, Lee 7, Abueva 6, Balanza 2, Mendoza 2, Reavis 1, Escoto 0, Laput 0.

Phoenix 93 – Jazul 21, Tuffin 17, Perkins 16, Mocon 11, Salado 8, Verano 8, Alejandro 6, Rivero 6, Muyang 0, Camacho 0, Daves 0, Lalata 0.

Quarterscores: 28-18, 47-57, 79-77, 107-93.

Back to top button