Magnolia finally pulled one over sister team San Miguel with a 101-97 win but the margin of victory wasn’t enough to propel it out of the twice-to-beat disadvantage spots as the Hotshots settled for 7th seed going into the quarterfinals of the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The loss dropped the Beermen to a tie with their conquerors at 6-5 but the defending champions still ended up as the 6th seed since the Hotshots failed to win by 14 points or more.
Magnolia will now face 3rd-seeded Alaska with the Aces holding a twice-to-beat advantage. Game 1 is scheduled on Tuesday, July 10, 7:00pm at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
San Miguel, on the other hand, will take on TNT in a best-of-three affair which kicks off on Monday, July 9, 4:30pm also at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Balik-import Wayne Chism paced the Hotshots with 21 points and 14 boards but had a team-high 5 turnovers in 38 minutes of play.
Paul Lee and Ian Sangalang each contributed 14 points but both had a miserable 31% shooting clip. Sangalang could only convert on 6 of his 19 attempts from the field while Lee only 5 of 16.
The duo, however, came up big baskets in the crucial stretch of the final period to help the Hotshots secure the win.
Mark Barroca contributed 11 markers while youngsters Robby Herndon and Jio Jalalon added 10 and 9 points respectively.
Renaldo Balkman led the defending champions with 31 points to go along with 8 boards, 4 assists, 3 steals and 6 blocks in another display of superb all-around effort while June Mar Fajardo finished with a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds.
Magnolia 101 – Chism 21, Lee 14, Sangalang 14, Barroca 11, Herndon 10, Jalalon 9, Melton 8, Brondial 5, Dela Rosa 4, Simon 3, Gamalinda 2, Reavis 0, Ramos 0, Pascual 0.
San Miguel 97 – Balkman 31, Fajardo 18, Santos 13, Lassiter 12, Cabagnot 9, Ross 9, Nabong 5, Heruela 0, Ganuelas-Rosser 0.
Quarterscores: 29-27, 45-44, 78-76, 101-97.