All agreeing to shift back into playoff mode, the Magnolia Pambansang Manok Hotshots didn’t go wrong, reasserting their mastery of the Alaska Milk Aces, 103-86, in a Petron Blaze Saturday showdown in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Ynares Sports Center here.
Ian Sangalang, Paul Lee and Mark Barroca assumed their roles as the team’s lead guys, each scoring at least 19 points as the Hotshots gained some relief in nailing a second win against four losses.
The Hotshots imposed themselves on the injury-hit Aces from the second quarter onwards, and went on to hand Alaska a third loss against the same number of wins.
“Pinag-usapan na namin to consider all our remaining games as do-or-die matches. It’s practically playoffs already for us, and fortunately we got this one,” said Sangalang, standing out with game-highs of 24 points, 14 rebounds and six assists.
Despite the win, the Hotshots still have a lot of catching up to do. At 2-4, Magnolia just caught up with NorthPort at ninth place, a full-game behind eighth-running Meralco (3-5).
Alaska is at joint fifth with Ginebra at 3-3.
Magnolia 103 – Sangalang 24, Lee 20, Barroca 19, Brondial 12, Jalalon 12, Reavis 7, Ramos 3, Herndon 2, Melton 2, Dela Rosa 2, Pascual 0.
Alaska 86 – Banchero 26, Teng 17, Exciminiano 13, Cruz 9, Ayaay 6, Enciso 5, Thoss 4, Pascual 4, Baclao 2, Galliguez 0, Andrada 0.
Quarterscores: 27-27, 54-42, 75-59, 103-86.