Magnolia Hotshots continued to find ways to offset its manpower problems, making it two in a row over NLEX with a 106-99 decision last night in their PBA Philippine Cup semi-finals series at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Jio Jalalon continued his atonement for a dismal Game 1 performance with a career-high 25 points, Ian Sangalang sustained his fine plays with a new playoff high 24 markers and the rest of the Hotshots did their part in taking a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven duel.
Magnolia tries to ride the momentum in Game 4 Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena and coach Chito Victolero said his team must reprise their fine play that started with a 99-84 win last Tuesday.
"Again it's all about team effort, sustaining the aggressiveness, energy and intensity,” said Victolero after his side again made do minus the injured Marc Pingris and Justin Melton.
Indeed, Sangalang added seven rebounds in complimenting Reavis' game-high 10 boards.
Foremost among those helped out were Rome dela Rosa and Paul Lee, who chipped in 17 and 14 points, respectively.
Kiefer Ravena scored a team-high 20 points to pace NLEX, which also drew at least 10 points from Kevin Alas, JR Quinahan, Mike Miranda and Larry Fonacier.
But the Road Warriors simply could not keep up when the Hotshots kept their foot on the pedal from the game's 11th and last deadlock at 87.
Sangalang, Jalalon and Dela Rosa spearheaded a telling 10-2 surge that put Magnolia ahead, 97-89 and another Sangalang semi-hook made it a 102-93 lead that proved safe enough going to the game's final 2:37.
Ravena's steal and fastbreak layup brought NLEX within seven, but Reavis scored on a putback off his own miss, dispelling the threat for good.*pba.com
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