Barroca, Sangalang powers Magnolia to the top spot, Tiu stays aggressive in back-to-back wins

Magnolia Hotshots 78 – Blackwater Elite 72

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The Magnolia Hotshots survived a tough comeback run from the Blackwater Elite to claim solo first place in the Philippine Cup standings.

The Magnolia starters unloaded a 16-0 run after Blackwater took a 4-0 lead to start the game. Everyone got into the scoring act as Jio Jalalon, PJ Simon, Justin Melton, Rafi Reavis and Aldrech Ramos all got on the board early in the game. The Hotshots took that double-digit lead all the way to the third quarter where it was Barroca’s turn to provide the steady stream of scoring. He scored seven of his 14 points in the third quarter to help the Hotshots increase their lead to 18 points.

That was when Mac Belo decided to take over and get his team back in the game. He opened the fourth quarter with 10 straight points. He was aggressive in attacking the interior defense of the Hotshots and got several and-one plays in the process. His barrage got the Elite to within six points. Belo then scored back-to-back baskets in the final two minutes to pull Blackwater even with a little over a minute left in the game.

Ian Sangalang came up big in the clutch to help the Hotshots escape with the win. He scored the go-ahead basket to give his team the lead with less than a minute left. He then forced a back court violation on Belo and got Magnolia the ball back. Blackwater still had a chance to tie the game but John Pinto missed his layup attempt. Jalalon and Melton iced the game with free throws to give their team the win.

Rain or Shine Elasto Painters 90 – Meralco Bolts 84

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For the second game in a row, Christ Tiu played big to lead the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters to a win over the Meralco Bolts.

It looked like the Elasto Painters had firm control of the game in the first half. Ed Daquioag scored seven points near the end of the first quarter as Rain or Shine took a five point lead after 12 minutes. The Elasto Painters continued to stay in the driver’s seat in the second quarter. Meralco tried to get back in the game several times in the second period, cutting the lead down to a single possession several times. Daquioag came up big once again in the final minutes of the second quarter to give them a six-point lead heading into the half.

The Bolts found their range in the third quarter. They hit seven three-pointers in the quarter led by KG Canaleta. He hit a three-pointer to start the run and cut the lead down to just two points. A few possessions after, he hit another to tie the game. Canaleta’s third trey gave Meralco their first lead of the game. The Bolts continued to stick with the Elasto Painters all the way to the fourth quarter.

The game was tied at 79 after Reynel Hugnata and Beau Belga traded three-pointers. That’s when Tiu scored five points in a 7-0 run to help Rain or Shine Pull away. Tiu buried a jumper to give Rain or Shine a four-point lead. He then scored a basket inside and added a free throw to give his team a seven-point lead with less than a minute left in the game. The Elasto Painters held on to that lead until the end.

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