The Magnolia Hotshots overcame a sluggish start and an early 20-point deficit, using a stifling defense in the last three quarters to ease past GlobalPort, 86-79, for a Final Four passage in the PBA Philippine Cup at the MOA Arena in Pasay City Tuesday night.
With their tremendous effort on defense, the Hotshots effected an amazing 31-point turnaround on the way to the seven-point triumph that sent them to the best-of-seven semifinals against the winner of the NLEX-Alaska Milk quarterfinals matchup.
“Depensa ang nagpagising sa amin. Masyadong gigil noong umpisa, gusto kaagad tapusin ang laban. Tsinaga namin sa depensa (para makabalik), yun naman talaga ang strength namin,” said Mark Barroca, among those who led the way in their stirring come-from-behind victory.
Paul Lee, Marc Pingris and Ian Sangalang also played key roles as Magnolia booked a fourth straight semifinal stint.
A big key was holding the Batang Pier down to 53 points in the last three quarters after exploding for 26 in the opening canto.
Magnolia 86 — Barroca 17, Lee 14, Pingris 13, Sangalang 11, Melton 7, Simon 7, Ramos 6, Jalalon 5, Brondial 4, Reavis 2, Dela Rosa 0
GlobalPort 79 — Pringle 31, Romeo 14, Grey 9, Sargent 7, Nabong 5, Elorde 4, Taha 3, Teng 3, Gabayni 2, Araña 1, Anthony 0, Guinto 0
Quarterscores: 12-26, 34-45, 61-59, 86-79.