Hotshots put up a strong stand in the end-game to level the series

The Magnolia Hotshots survived a furious fourth quarter rally by the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters to win Game 4, 94-91. They tie their best-of-seven series at two games apiece after falling in the first two games of the series.

Ian Sangalang led a balanced Magnolia scoring attack. He finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Six other players scored in double figures including 15 from Paul Lee off the bench and 12 from starting point guard Jio Jalalon. James Yap led the Elasto Painters with 24 points.

The Hotshots played with urgency to start the game. They jumped out to an 8-0 lead after Mark Barroca added back-to-back three-pointers to Sangalang’s opening hoop. They held on to that lead all the way to the second quarter where they began to pull away from Magnolia.

The Hotshots guards then teamed up for a 9-1 run midway through the second quarter to extended a nine-point lead up to 17. Lee and Barroca scored on floaters to sandwich five straight points from Jalalon. Magnolia then went on another 5-0 mini run near the end of the period to build a 21-point advantage, their biggest of the game. They eventually settled for a 19-point lead heading to the half.

The Hotshots held on to a sizeable lead most of the way until Yap engineered a 14-1 run to in the fourth quarter to get the Hotshots back in the end game. The Elasto Painters were within one point after Yap’s cold-blooded three and Maverick Ahanmisi’s drive.

With four seconds left in the clock, Rain or Shine was forced to foul, sending Jalalon to the line. The young guard cooly sank both his free throws to give Magnolia a safer three-point lead.

With 3.1 seconds left, Rain or Shine had one final chance to tie the game. They ran a play to get Yap free but he couldn’t escape the defense of Rome Dela Rosa. Yap was forced to fire up a step-back three-pointer that hit back iron as time expired, giving Magnolia the series-tying win.

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