Hotshots crack down on Bossing
November 7, 2022 | 12:00
MANILA, Philippines – Its spotless record tarnished last time out, pace-setting Magnolia returned to its defense-centric roots to reel back on track in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The well-rested Hotshots executed their defensive schemes with more determination and precision, hacking out a 91-69 recovery win over Blackwater last night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
After giving up a bunch in a 103-97 loss against Barangay Ginebra last October 23, the Hotshots throttled Bossing to the fewest points against them in the mid-season tournament en route to the redemptive sixth win.
“This was a return game for us; that’s what we talked about during preparation and the guys responded, said Magnolia vice manager Jason Webb, who snapped for coach Chito Victolero in the postgame press release.
“The key here is that we played probably our best defensive game of the season. We limited them to 60. We got back to our identity as a very good defensive team, which is exactly what we’ve preached the last two weeks.”
Except for the opening quarter where Bossing scored 22 to take a three-point lead, Magnolia held Blackwater to no higher than 18 in each of the final three quarters.
A 25-15 second-period exchange lifted the Hotshots to a 44-37 margin, fueling their outburst to as many as 25 markers, at 83-58 in the second half.
“(Coming off a two-week break) We weren’t sharp in the first half. We shot 33 percent in the first quarter, got up to 39 percent (in the second), but as the game went on, the boys got their ‘PBA game’ rhythm,” said Webb, whose Chargers held pole position, a half a game ahead of Bay Area (6-2) and Converge (6-2), with this score.
Ian Sangalang shared the scoring with import Nick Rakocevic as they both scored 17 points. Jerrick Ahanmisi and Jio Jalalon came off the bench and chipped in 14 and 13 respectively.
Sangalang shrugged off a minor mishap during the pre-game warm-up as he produced a player-of-the-game performance. The Magnolia slot landed on a cooler that was driven onto the court after a layup, causing him to fall and cut his knee.
“So are the teammates, okay then. Huwag nila ako intindihin, kaya co i-handle ang nijito sukuri. Tapos na yun, wala namang masyadong nasaktan, nasugatan lang ako. Focus on the game,” Sangalang said.
Later, before a roaring crowd of 10,149, Scottie Thompson hit the game-winning triple as Barangay Ginebra rallied from 19 points down to steal a 97-96 nailbiter over San Miguel Beer.
Thompson’s long bomb from the corner capped a powerful 34-14 run that extended the Gin Kings’ streak to three games and kept them in solo fourth place at 5-2. The Beermen fell to 3-4.
Ato Ular, with 14 markers, took the cudgel as Bossing import Cameron Krutwig scored with eight on the night they fell to their third straight goal from behind for a 3-6 table overall.
From 48-43, the Hotshots widened the gap to 70-55 in the third, which JVee Casio and Troy Rosario-less Bossing couldn’t recover from. Sangalang and Mark Barroca led the Magnolia barrage with a combined 14.
It was a double celebration for Magnolia forward Calvin Abueva, who received a plaque at halftime for reaching the career milestone of 1,000 offensive rebounds in the previous game.