By Adrian Stewart Co
Magnolia Pambansang Manok Hotshots used a strong fourth quarter rampage to defeat sister team San Miguel Beermen, 100-90, in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday night at the Don Honorio Ventura State University Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.
Paul Lee drilled conference-high 32 points, while Ian Sangalang and rookie Jerrick Ahanmisi added 15 and 11 markers, respectively, as the Hotshots ended the eliminations with 8-3 win-loss slate.
The Hotshots are currently at third place and can still move up to No. 2 spot, which has a twice-to-beat quarterfinals incentive, if the Meralco Bolts (7-2) lose their last two games against Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings and NLEX Road Warriors.
“Nagawa na namin trabaho namin, nagawa kung anong pwede naming gawin. Kung destiny namin at talagang ibibigay sa amin ni Lord ‘yung No. 2, so be it,” said Hotshots head coach Chito Victolero.
With the score tied at 75-all midway in the fourth quarter, Lee drilled a triple and Ahanmisi converted two free throws for an 80-75 lead. Ten straight points from Lee pushed Magnolia’s advantage to 90-81.
The Hotshots’ lead later grew to its largest at 100-84 with conversions from Sangalang and Calvin Abueva before the Beermen came up with late baskets to trim the final margin to nine points.
Jaymar Perez top-scored with 20 points, Arwind Santos added 18 markers, while Von Pessumal and Marcio Lassiter ended up with 13 markers each as the Beermen dropped to 6-4.
Meanwhile, Terrafirma Dyip (4-7) kept its playoff hopes alive following a 105-89 domination over Alaska Aces (3-6). Rashawn McCarthy finished with a game-high 19 points, while Aldrech Ramos, Juami Tiongson, and Roosevelt Adams had 17 apiece./ASC, WDJ