The Magnolia Hotshots’ season looked done when the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters took a 2-0 lead in the Semis. Three games later, the Hotshots are now in control of the series and are one win away from making it back to the Finals. The Hotshots held on to win Game 5, 82-74 to win their third straight game.
The guard duo of Jio Jalalon and Mark Barroca made up for a scoreless night by Hotshot star Paul Lee. The two led their team in scoring with 14 points. They also combined for 11 rebounds and six assists. Rafi Reavis added nine points and 12 rebounds to his guards’ output. Gabe Norwood had 15 points and five rebounds for the Elasto Painters.
The game started off slowly with both teams flexing their defensive muscles. They combined for only 26 points in the first quarter with the Hotshots taking a six-point lead after 12 minutes. Magnolia held on to that six-point lead for most of the first half.
The Elasto Painters made their run to get back in the game in the third period. After the Hotshots extended their lead to as high as 13 points to start the second half, Gabe Norwood led a comeback that got his team to within two points. He scored all but two points in an 11-0 reply to get Rain or Shine breathing down Magnolia’s necks again.
The Hotshots tried to pull away once again in the final period. From a one-point lead, Magnolia went on an 8-1 run to give them a seven-point lead heading to the final minutes. Barroca and Reavis teamed up to cap the run with a big and-one bucket.
Just when Magnolia thought the game was wrapped up, the Elasto Painters tried to mount a comeback. Ed Daquioag nailed a big trey to cut the advantage down to just four. But Jalalon found Reavis close to the hoop for the dagger shot. The point guard then buried two clutch free throws to secure their third win of the series.