ANTIPOLO — Magnolia used a strong fourth quarter finish to roll past Blackwater, 97-87, in the PBA Philippine Cup on Friday at the Ynares Center in Rizal.
Rome dela Rosa led all scorers with 17 points on an 8-for-10 shooting clip, while Ian Sangalang and Paul Lee pitched in 16 apiece. Sangalang also had 10 rebounds for the Hotshots, who moved to .500 for the first time this conference.
Magnolia wasn’t able to coast quickly in the second half due to a third quarter challenge by the Elite, who held their last lead after a Mac Belo jumper gave them a slim 61-60 advantage with 2:26 left.
After that, though, it was all Magnolia until the final buzzer.
An 8-0 run to end the third gave the Hothsots a 68-61 lead entering the final frame. Magnolia stayed on the aggressive in the fourth, with two consecutive triples Paul Lee and Justin Melton to open the fourth giving them a 74-65 advantage.
Later, an 11-3 run, puncutated by a reverse finish by Sangalang underneath the rim, extended the Hotshots’ lead to 84-72, effectively putting the game out of Blackwater’s reach.
Belo and Allein Maliksi scored 16 each for Blackwater, which finished its lackluster All-Filipino campaign with a 2-9 win-loss card.
Magnolia, meanwhile, improved to 5-5, now half a game ahead of NLEX — who are incidentally their last elimination round opponent in a tight battle for better playoff positioning — and Alaska in the standings.
MAGNOLIA (97) – Dela Rosa 17, Lee 16, Sangalang 16, Reavis 11, Barroca 11, Brondial 10, Melton 9, Jalalon 4, Ramos 3, Simon 0, Gamalinda 0, Abundo 0, Pascual 0.
BLACKWATER (87) – Belo 16, Maliksi 16, Dario 11, Eriobu 10, Al-Hussaini 9, Tratter 8, Banal 7, DiGregorio 4, Sena 3, Desiderio 3, Javier 0, Sumang 0.
Quarters: 20-20, 49-41, 68-61, 97-87.