Magnolia roared on, making it three in a row over Rain or Shine to move on the cusp of a second straight PBA Philippine Cup Finals.
The Hotshots outsmarted and outplayed the Elasto Painters in the clutch Wednesday night and carved out an 82-74 triumph for the crucial 3-2 upper hand in their best-of-seven semifinal showdown.
Having erased a 0-2 deficit in the series, the Hotshots now have a shot at advancing to the title playoff in Game Six Friday at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo.
A deciding Game Seven, if necessary, is Sunday.
It was a well-fought battle the Hotshots won on a 9-3 closing binge by Ian Sangalang, Rafi Reavis and Jio Jalalon.
But the Hotshots found many other players stepping up, including Mark Barroca who was all over the floor early on, piling up 14 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals.