The Magnolia Hotshots finally broke into the win column of their best-of-seven semifinal series with the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters by virtue of an 85-74 victory in Game 3, Tuesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Ian Sangalang led the Hotshots in their breakthrough win by scoring 12 of his team-high 16 points in the pivotal fourth period to complete the fightback after being down for majority of the contest.
The 27-year old native of Lubao, Pampanga was actually held scoreless in the first half but came to life in the second to save his team from going down a 0-3 hole.
Despite the loss, the Elasto Painters still hold the edge in the series which now stands at 2-1, something that is not lost in the mind of Magnolia mentor Chito Victolero.
“Nakabalik lang kami pero lamang pa rin sila sa series. But ang maganda lang dito is we have a chance. At least kahit paano naka-one win kami. Nakakuha kami ng magandang opensa kay Ian,” stressed the one-time PBA champion coach.
Game 3 of the series is set on Monday, April 22 also at the Big Dome.
Sangalang actually finished with a double-double as also had 11 boards. Three other Hotshots finished in double figure in rebounds with Rafi Reavis collaring 11 while guards Mark Barroca and Jio Jalalon had 10 each.
Paul Lee also had 16 markers while Justin Melton added 9, all from long distance.
Rookie Javee Mocon led the Elasto Painters with 18 points and 9 boards while Beau Belga and Norbert Torres contributed 12 and 10 points respectively.
Magnolia 85 – Lee 16, Sangalang 16, Melton 9, Jalalon 8, Dela Rosa 7, Reavis 7, Barroca 6, Herndon 6, Brondial 5, Simon 3, Ramos 2.
Rain or Shine 74 – Mocon 18, Belga 12, Torres 10, Daquioag 7, Yap 6, Nambatac 6, Norwood 6, Alejandro 3, Rosales 2, Borboran 2, Ponferada 2.
Quarterscores: 15-17, 35-42, 57-63, 85-74.