The Magnolia Hotshots were able to withstand a furious rally by the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 94-91, knotting their best-of-seven semis series in Game Four on Monday night at the Big Dome.
After cruising along for the first three periods, James Yap led Rain or Shine to a comeback, cutting the lead down to as low as three points with 1:01 left in regulation.
Maverick Ahanmisi converted a layup to cut the lead further, while Jio Jalalon knocked down crucial free throws to give Magnolia a much-needed cushion with 3.1 seconds left.
James Yap had a good look for a stepback trey even with Rome Dela Rosa’s contest. However, his attempt was too long, giving the Hotshots their second win of the series.
Ian Sangalang showed out once again with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Paul Lee and Jio Jalalon notched 15 and 12 points respectively.
Game Five of this best-of-seven series is slated on Wednesday at the Cuneta Astrodome.
FOX Sports Philippines gives you insights from Magnolia’s Game 4 win.
It’s all about hustle for the Hotshots
Magnolia once again used their trademark hustle and defense en route to winning Game Four as they outrebounded Rain or Shine (53 to 43) and outscored them in second-chance points (18 to 7). With the game ending in a close one, for sure those proved to be the differences in the game.
With Rafi Reavis and Ian Sangalang corraling double-digit rebounds regularly, the Rain or Shine big men would have to find a way to keep them out of the paint more.
Balanced firepower for Magnolia
Ian Sangalang may have led all Hotshots’ scorer with 19 markers, but his effort didn’t go to naught thanks to the help of his teammates.
Paul Lee, Jio Jalalon, Mark Barroca, Justin Melton, and Rafi Reavis also scored in double digits with 15, 12, 11, 11, and 10 respectively.
Javee Mocon’s efficient minutes
Javee Mocon continues to build on to his Rookie of the Year case by being one of the Elasto Painter’s main cogs, especially in this series against the Hotshots.
And this game was no exception as the former San Beda standout chipped in 14 points and four rebounds despite playing only 18 minutes. His shooting, however, may leave to be desired and he’ll have to do a better job for Rain or Shine next game.