For the second game in a row, the Magnolia Hotshots held steady in the end game. They beat the Alaska Aces, 95-90 to win their third straight game. Magnolia rises up to 3-1 for the conference while the Aces remain winless in five games.
Ian Sangalang led the Hotshots with a 19-10 double-double. Romeo Travis added a well-rounded line with 17 points, 15 rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocks. Mark Barroca had 13 points and five dimes for the Hotshots. Vic Manuel led the Aces with 22 points.
The Hotshots were in control of the game after Travis drilled a jumper that put them up by nine with less than two minutes left in the final period. The Aces, desperate for a win, engineered a roaring comeback. Simon Enciso and Frank House scored five straight points in the next two possessions to cut the deficit down to just four points.
That was when the Hotshots defense turned on Magnolia forced Alaska to miss their next seven attempts, including three-point attempts from Chris Banchero and Enciso that would have cut the lead down to just one. Paul Lee added a free throw in the final seconds to settle the count for the game.
In the first game, the Meralco Bolts get their second straight win. They drop the Phoenix Fuel Masters, 111-94 to rise up to 3-1. Phoenix drops to a 1-4 slate near the bottom of the standings.
Allen Durham led Meralco with 27 points and 12 rebounds. Baser Amer added 26 points built on four triples. Chris Newsome had a triple-double with 13 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists. Eugene Phelps led Phoenix with 31 points.
Meralco jumped out to 20-9 run to start the game and never looked back. Amer and Bong Quinto scored all but two points in a 13-0 run that turned a two-point deficit into an 11-point lead, their first double-digit lead of the game. Meralco led by as much as 27 points in the game as they walloped the Fuel Masters all the way to the final buzzer.
Merlaco shot a clean 48% from the field, including 12/30 from beyond the arc. They also had 27 assists in the game, further highlighting their strong offensive show. On defense, they were able to limit the Fuel Masters to 39% shooting and just 17 assists in the game.