WATCH: Paul Lee Highlights [Magnolia vs San Miguel Finals G3 | Feb. 7, 2024]

PBA Season 48 Commissioner's Cup

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.

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