The Magnolia Hotshots made sure to secure a spot in the next stage. Facing a reeling TNT KaTropa squad, they pulled out a 100-93 win to get a seat in the Quarterfinals bus. The Hotshots finish the conference with a 6-5 record while the KaTropa drop to 7-3, taking on their third straight loss.
Romeo Travis led the way for Magnolia with 21 points, 13 rebounds and three steals. He got a lot of help from his back court. Chris Banchero scored 13 points and dished out five assists. Paul Lee added 13 points and five rebounds. KJ McDaniels had 33 points and 15 rebounds to power TNT’s attack.
The Hotshots pulled away from the KaTropa with a big run to open the second period. The bench mob teamed up with Travis to go on a blistering 19-4 run. It started with a 5-0 spark from two freebies by Lee and a triple from Jio Jalalon. After that it was back-to-back drives from Jalalon and a triple by Mark Barroca. Rafi Reavis added two freebies and Travis scored to push the lead up to 20. The Hotshots held on to that safe advantage for most of the game.
The KaTropa tried to get back in the game in the fourth period. McDaniels led a 13-1 run with key hits to chop the advantage down to 12 points. He continued to chip away at the Hotshots lead, cutting it down to as low as seven points after an and-one hoop. But that was the closest they’d get. Two freebies by Lee shut the door on TNT for good.