PBA: Magnolia books semis berth, ousts Phoenix

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Magnolia’s Calvin Abueva. –PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines–Magnolia held off undermanned however hard-fighting Phoenix on Friday evening, carving out a 102-95 victory to safe a semifinal berth within the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

The Hotshots—like visiting Bay Space—additionally took the shorter path to the Ultimate 4 behind the efforts of import Nick Rakocevic and the membership’s grizzled veterans Calvin Mark Barroca, Paul Lee, and Calvin Abueva.

“It took us some time—till the ultimate quarter to determine issues out. It’s simply the need of the gamers that prevailed,” mentioned assistant Jason Webb, who was filling in for head coach Chito Victolero who was positioned below the league’s well being and security protocols.

“We wished this one they usually really performed that method,” Webb went on.

Rakocevic put up 18 factors and 13 rebounds spiked with 5 blocks and 4 steals. Abueva led the lot with 19 factors whereas Barroca and Lee chipped in 16 and 15, respectively.

The Gas Masters, who additionally missed 4 key gamers—together with battle-hardened guards RJ Jazul and RR Garcia to well being protocols—nonetheless managed to maintain issues shut all due to newcomers Tyler Tio who completed with 18 factors, and Encho Serrano who had 16.

Phoenix managed to knot the affair at 86-all midway via the ultimate body to make issues attention-grabbing.

However Rakocevic—swollen foot and all—was not going to permit twice-to-beat Magnolia to fish for its playoff armor. He greased the Hotshots’ fightback late to seal the membership’s place within the subsequent spherical and arrange a conflict towards both sister group Barangay Ginebra or NorthPort.

Relying on the outcomes of Saturday’s matches, the semifinals may start on both Wednesday or Friday.

The Dragons, who thrashed Rain or Shine 126-96 within the curtain raiser, await the winner of the San Miguel-Converge contest.

The Scores:

MAGNOLIA 102 – Abueva 19, Rakocevic 18, Barroca 16, Lee 15, Wong 11, Jalalon 8, Sangalang 6, Dionisio 4, Dela Rosa 3, Corpuz 2, Ahanmisi 0

PHOENIX 95 – Tio 18, Serrano 16, Wesson 16, Mocon 12, Perkins 12, Anthony 6, Manganti 5, Pascual 4, Rios 4, Lojera 2, Adamos 0

QUARTERS: 28-26, 50-46, 76-74, 102-95

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