Strong 4th quarter propels Magnolia past Alaska for 2-0 Finals series lead

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From a runaway Game One win, Magnolia went through a tough defensive game in Game Two but pulled through just the same.

The Hotshots overcame the Aces in a tough, tough grind Friday night, squeezing out a 77-71 win for a commanding 2-0 lead in the PBA Governors Cup best-of-seven finale at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“From practice yesterday, we expected a dogfight. We expected a different Alaska team na malakas ang energy at matindi ang effort,” said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero.

“First half, hindi kami makasabay, lagi kaming a step late. Talo sa lahat. Sabi ko sa halftime, kung hindi tayo makakasabay sa second half, di tayo mananalo. It’s on the players, they responded in the second half,” Victolero added.

Jio Jalalon scored five of his seven points in the last three minutes and helped the Hotshots through at the finish.

The Hotshots trailed most of the way but didn’t allow the Aces to lead by more than nine.

The scores:

Magnolia 77 – Travis 24, Sangalang 11, Lee 8, Dela Rosa 7, Reavis 6, Melton 5, Simon 4, Brondial 3, Barroca 2, Herndon 0, Pascual 0.

Alaska 71 – Harris 22, Manuel 10, Banchero 9, Racal 7, Enciso 6, Casio 5, Teng 4, Exciminiano 4, Thoss 2, Cruz 2, Baclao 0, Pascual 0, Galliguez 0.

Quarterscores: 20-22, 36-41, 61-65, 77-71.