The Magnolia Hotshots can rest at least for now knowing that their Finals hopes are very much alive as they won over the streaking Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 85-74, in Game Three on Tuesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
After being held scoreless in the first half, Ian Sangalang poured in 16 points overall, with 12 of those coming in the final canto, including a short stab on the baseline that gave Hotshots the lead for good.
The game saw these two teams go on huge runs especially in the second quarter, where Magnolia unleashed a 12-0 run at first then Rain or Shine answering back to lead, 42-35 at intermission.
Despite trailing for the most part, Magnolia was able to make key stops and baskets late en route to this momentous win.
Along with Ian Sangalang, Paul Lee put in 16 markers as well, while Justin Melton and Jio Jalalon notched nine and eight, respectively.
Game Four of this best-of-seven series is slated on Monday at the same venue.
FOX Sports Philippines gives you insights from Magnolia’s Game 3 win.
Superb rebounding for the Hotshots
Part of Magnolia’s success last night was because of their domination from the boards against Rain or Shine, 71-49. Sangalang and Reavis corraled 11 apiece while guards Barroca and Jalalon grabbed 10 each.
Most of their dominance on the boards were due to their gaudy offensive rebounding numbers. The Hotshots were able to come up with 22 of those as compared to the Elasto Painters’ 10.
Magnolia’s interior dominance
In this game, the Hotshots outscored the Elasto Painters in the interior, 32-22, and most of their inside shots came from putbacks or post attacks by Ian Sangalang.
More importantly, their guards had better driving lanes last night, creating havoc on Rain or Shine’s defense. They would have to continue in doing so as they gun for another win in Game Four.
Improved shooting from deep
Magnolia was able to atone for their putrid shooting last time around by knocking down nine out of 28 three-point attempts (32%), as compared to tallying two out of 22 tries (9%).
Justin Melton and Paul Lee made three each while Robbie Herndon chipped in two. While this is an encouraging sign for the Hotshots, guys like Barroca and Jalalon would have to shoot better from distance if they want to further extend the series.
(Images from PBA Media Group)