The Magnolia Hotshots now just another win away from a coveted goal.
With Mark Barroca acting as a spearhead, the Hotshots stumped the NLEX Road Warriors, 87-78, Sunday in what could be a pivotal victory in their PBA Philippine Cup semi-finals duel at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
Barroca finished with 18 points, his highest output in the series thus far, and got plenty of help from his teammates as Magnolia went up, 3-2, in the best-of-seven series.
Another win in Game 6 Tuesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum and the Hotshots would be in their first finals under coach Chito Victolero after coming up just short in each of the three conferences last season.
Despite not scoring in the first half, Aldrech Ramos still emerged with his best game of the duel with 15 points and nine rebounds, Paul Lee also had 15 points to go with four assists and Ian Sangalang turned in 14 points and 11 boards.
For the second straight game, Kiefer Ravena led all scorers with 21 points with 10 coming in the fourth period which NLEX entered down by just one.
MAGNOLIA 87 — Barroca 18, Lee 15, Ramos 15, Sangalang 12, Simon 7, Dela Rosa 6, Pascual 4, Reavis 4, Brondial 2, Gamalinda 2, Jalalon 2, Herndon 0, Mendoza 0.
NLEX 78 — Ravena 21, Mallari 13, Soyud 11, Fonacier 9, Miranda 8, Quiñahan 8, Rios 3, Taulava 2, Tiongson 2, Baguio 1, Alas 0.
Quarterscores: 20-20, 37-36, 59-58, 87-78.