Oct 24, 2021

Hotshots buck Williams' 39-point explosion, stop TNT charge

MAGNOLIA showed its big heart and fought into contention in the PBA Philippine Cup Finals with a 106-98 victory in Game 3 Sunday at the Don Honorio Ventura State U Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.

Beaten badly in the first two games, the Hotshots dug deep and mustered the needed energy, intensity and effort to stop the Tropang Giga from building a huge 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Coach Chito Victolero and his troops have a chance to equalize in Game 4 Wednesday.

The Hotshots turned the tables on the Tropag Giga in Game 3 by pounding it hard inside to counter TNT's three-point shooting and buck Mikey Williams' 39-point explosion.

The TNT super rookie went 10-of-18 from the arc - the most by any player in PBA Finals.

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But even with William's big game, the Hotshots felt their defense made a big difference.

"Tingin ko we played defense better than we did in the first two games. Importante yung mindset. Sabi namin remember what brought us here - depensa. At talagang dumepensa kami ng husto," said Victolero.

Paul Lee fired 21 points while Ian Sangalang put in 20 to lead a balanced Magnolia attack that also saw Mark Barroca, Calvin Abueva and Jio Jalalon toss in at least 11 apiece.

Rome dela Rosa added nine markers while Jackson Corpuz chipped in seven before being tossed out on a technical foul and a flagrant infraction.

Corpuz was assessed a flagrant foul on a dangerous bump on an airborne Troy Rosario with 3:02 left in the third. Rosario dislocated a finger and failed to finish the game.

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Jalalon collected 11 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals while starting at the spot of the injury-hit Barroca. And even with his health woe, Barroca came through with 16 markers.

"Kumuha ako ng motivation kay Mark. Kita ko kasi na-injured na siya, pero laban pa rin," said Lee.

In a real turnaround from the first two games, the Hotshots beat the Tropang Giga, 52-46, in the first half in this game, with Lee, Abueva and Jalalon leading their hot charge with a combined 30 points.

Magnolia shot well from around the perimeter, hitting at a 51-percent clip overall (17-of-33) that negated TNT's 8-of-19 three-pointers.

The Hotshots unleashed a 16-0 run to highlight their first-half charge, allowing them to lead by 11 before settling for a six-point cushion at halftime.

And they did a good job keeping the Tropang Giga at bay in the second half. (SB)

The scores:

Magnolia 106 - Lee 21, Sangalang 20, Barroca 16, Abueva 14, Jalalon 11, Dela Rosa 9, Corpuz 7, Reavis 5, Ahanmisi 3, Brill 0, Melton 0, De Leon 0, Capobres 0, Dionisio 0.

TNT 98 - M. Williams 39, Pogoy 14, Erram 10, Castro 9, Heruela 8, Marcelo 7, K. Williams 4, Reyes 3, Khobuntin 2, Rosario 0, Exciminiano 0, Montalbo 0, Alejandro 0, Javier 0, Mendoza 0.

Quarters: 26-20, 52-46, 82-77, 106-98.