Jalalon takes charge in OT as Magnolia overcomes NLEX to book semis ticket

Magnolia relied on the clutch plays of Jio Jalalon to overcome a hard-fighting NLEX side, 112-106, and win the best-of-three quarterfinal series, 2-1, Sunday at the SM MOA Arena in Pasay City.

The victory forged a best-of-seven showdown with 2nd-seeded TNT in the semifinal round of the PBA Season 47 Philippine Cup.

The 5-foot-8 Jalalon scored 7 of the Hotshots’ 15 points in the extra period including a ‘hail mary’ three which gave the SMC-owned franchise more breathing room, 106-100, with just 1:49 ticks left on the game clock.

Calvin Abueva and Mark Barroca drained 4 straight free throws to put the game away after the Road Warriors threatened one last time on back-to-back three-pointers by Don Trollano which cut the lead down to 2 with still 1:03 remaining.

Ian Sangalang paced the Chito Victlero-mentored squad with 24 points on 11-of-21 shooting to go with 11 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks in 43 minutes of action.

“Noong ginamit ko si Jio, he’s ready. Sa mata pa lang, parang tinitingnan niya ako: ‘Coach, magsisisi ka kasi ‘di mo ako ginagamit,’” said Victolero who admitted that he forgot about ‘The Cyclone’ and only remembered to put him back in the game with only a minute left in regulation period.

“I’m very proud because hindi kami nag-give up eh. We’re down, but hindi kami nag-give up. That’s mental toughness, and the grit and determination of the players,” he added.

Paul Lee scored 21 including the game-trying triple to force overtime while Jalalon finished with a statline of 16 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals in 31 minutes of play.

Barroca and Abueva chipped in 14 and 13 points, respectively while Rome dela Rosa added 10 markers.

The Hotshots and the Tropang Giga kickoff their semis battle on Wednesday, August 3, 3:00pm at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The scores:

Magnolia 112 – Sangalang 24, Lee 21, Jalalon 16, Barroca 14, Abueva 13, Dela Rosa 12, Corpuz 6, Dionisio 4, Wong 2.

NLEX 108 – Oftana 32, Trollano 22, Alas 17, Chua 10, Semerad 8, Quinahan 8, Rosales 5, Varilla 2, Nieto 2, Soyud 0.

Quarterscores: 26-30, 51-54, 79-78, 97-97, 112-108.

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