Magnolia Hotshots 101 – Barangay Ginebra 97 (Magnolia leads 2-0)
The Magnolia Hotshots weathered another furious rally by the Barangay Ginebra to get their second win in the Smeifinals. The Hotshots are now one win away from eliminating the defending Governor’s Cup champions.
Romeo Travis once again led the Hotshots with 25 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists, doing all the little things to help his team win. He got a lot of local support as Ian Sangalang added 17 points, Paul Lee scored 14 and Rome Dela Rosa tallied 11. Mark Barroca had nine points and seven assists.
It was a back and forth game in the first half. Magnolia took a three-point lead after one quarter but quickly added on to that lead in the second period. They opened the quarter on an 11-1 with all the locals pitching in points. The Hotshots were able to take a 12-point lead at that point.
They held on to the lead for most of the quarter before Ginebra went on a blistering 9-0 run in the final minute of the first half. Magnolia could only hang on to a one-point lead heading into the break.
The Hotshots pulled away once again in the third period. Dela Rosa led Magnolia to another double-digit lead, scoring seven points in a 10-0 run midway through the third period. That run gave the Hotshots a comfortable cushion and momentum heading into the final period.
Magnolia continued to roll in the fourth quarter. Travis scored on an and-one bucket and the nailed a long two to put the Hotshots up by 12 with 3:45 left. Just when the Hotshots thought they had the game wrapped up, Ginebra came rushing back.
Justin Brownlee quickly scored six straight points to cut the deficit down to just six points. Jio Jalalon and Sangalang scored baskets inside to increase the lead back up. Sol Mercado and LA Tenorio hit two three-pointers to answer back, cutting the deficit down to just two points with 24 seconds left.
Paul Lee was fouled in the next possession but left the door open when he split his charities. Unfortunately for Ginebra they couldn’t capitalize on offense. Tenorio and Brownlee missed game-tying attempts. Romeo Travis was sent to the line where he iced the game with a free throw.