Magnolia eliminates Ginebra, San Miguel advances over TNT

The Magnolia Hotshots take down Barangay Ginebra once again. The Hotshots pulled away in the final period to eliminate Ginebra, 85-72, winning two games to one in their best-of-three series.

Paul Lee carried Magnolia to the Semifinals, dropping 25 points on 60% shooting from the field. Lee hit five three-pointers, grabbed five boards and dished out three steals as well. Mark Barroca added 13 points. Japeth Aguilar led Ginebra with 16 points while Scottie Thompson helped out with a career-high 19 rebounds.

After falling behind by three points early in the game, Magnolia got some separation in the third quarter where they limited Ginebra to just 13 points while scoring 28 of their own. Lee led the charge with three straight baskets to push a four-point lead up to 10. Lee wasn’t done. After Aguilar and Aldrech Ramos traded baskets, Lee added a three-pointer and a free throw to push the advantage up to 15. Lee closed out his run with a three to bring the advantage up to 20 as Magnolia held a commanding lead heading to the final period.

Ginebra tried to make one last run to win the game. Jeff Chan erupted in the fourth period with 14 points to help bring Ginebra to within nine points with three minutes left in the game. Lee killed Ginebra’s run with a dagger from the top of the key to bring Magnolia’s lead back up to 12. That took the wind out of Ginebra’s run as Magnolia cruised to the win in the final minutes of the game.

In the first game, the Kraken erupted to lead the San Miguel Beermen over the TNT KaTropa. June Mar Fajardo dropped 32 points on 11/11 shooting to lead San Miguel to a 96-86 win. The Beermen advance to the Semifinals with a 2-1 win over the KaTropa.

Fajardo set the tone early with back-to-back baskets in the paint. He continued his onslaught to a couple of and-one baskets to sandwich a Chris Ross three-pointer to push San Miguel up by 11. The Beermen limited the KaTropa to just 10 points in the first period as they took a 15-point lead heading to the second period.

Fajardo resumed his domination in the second period. He scored on a bucket inside and followed it up with an and-one hoop. That gave San Miguel a 22-point lead. The rest of the Beermen continued to drop baskets on TNT to push the lead up to 26 points heading into the second half.

San Miguel never let go of their huge advantage. They maintained a dominant stance in the second half. The KaTropa tried their best to cut into the large deficit in the final period. But their run came too late. By that time, the Beermen had a comfortable lead, enough to seal the win.

Christian Standhardinger joined Fajardo in San Miguel’s control of the paint. He added 17 points off the bench to help Fajardo. RR Pogoy led TNT with 16 points in the losing effort.