By ADRIAN STEWART CO
The Magnolia Chicken Timplados Hotshots clawed back from 26 points down to beat the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel Kings, 93-91, in the 2023 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday night, November 19.
Down by as much as 26 points in the second quarter, the Hotshots slowly chipped in into the Gin Kings’ lead in the third quarter behind Jiovani Jalalon, James Laput and Tyler Bey to cut it to 64-72.
Magnolia continued their run in the fourth quarter as they took an 85-83 lead on a dunk by Bey.
Ginebra reclaimed the lead at 91-88 on back-to-back triples by Maverick Ahanmisi and two free throws by Tony Bishop, Jr.
Four consecutive free throws by Bey surged the Hotshots on top at 92-91, and after a missed basket by Gin Kings’ Earl Scottie Thompson, Jalalon split his free throws to widen the edge to 93-91.
Bey finished with a double-double of 31 points and 10 rebounds to go with five steals, while Jalalon and Andy Mark Barroca chipped in 15 and 13, respectively, as the Hotshots stayed on top with a 4-0 record.
Ahanmisi and Bishop finished with 21 markers apiece. Christian Standhardinger added 13 markers, while Thompson and Japeth Aguilar ended with 12 each as the defending champion Gin Kings dropped to 1-1.
Meanwhile, the San Miguel Beermen nearly wasted a lead as high as 21 points before holding off the shorthanded Meralco Bolts, 93-83. The Beermen improved to 1-1, while the Bolts dropped to 1-2.
The Beermen relied on the inside presence of June Mar Fajardo and reinforcement Ivan Aska to build its biggest lead of 51-30 in the second quarter on a conversion by rookie Kyt Jimenez.
The Bolts slowly clawed their way back as they cut the deficit to 62-66 after three quarters, but the Beermen answered with conversions from Fajardo and Aska to seal the win.
Aska finished with a double-double of 27 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Beermen. Fajardo tallied 17 markers and 15 boards, while Jaymar Perez and Chris Ross ended with 16 and 10, respectively.
MAGNOLIA 93 — Bey 31, Jalalon 15, Barroca 13, Lee 9, Sangalang 8, Dela Rosa 6, Ahanmisi 5, Reavis 0, Tratter 0, Eriobu 0, Dionisio 0.
GINEBRA 91 — Ahanmisi 21, Bishop 21, Standhardinger 13, J. Aguilar 12, Thompson 12, Pringle 9, Pinto 3, Cu 0, Pessumal 0.
Quarterscores: 16-34, 35-60, 64-72, 93-91./ASC, WDJ