MAGNOLIA topped Barangay Ginebra in their Manila Clasico duel Sunday, denting the Kings' slate and leaving the San Miguel Beermen as the only unbeaten team in the PBA Season 47 Philippine Cup.
Minus the injury-hit Paul Lee and though becoming depleted all the more on Calvin Abueva's exit on technical infractions, the Hotshots stayed tough and ground out an 89-84 win over the Gin Kings at the MOA Arena in Pasay City.
The Hotshots defied the odds largely behind Ian Sangalang and Jio Jalalon, improving their win-loss record to 2-3 while pulling the Gin Kings down to 3-1.
"Ang motivation namin is to play defense; hindi sa offense. Madami kasi kaming kalaban, kailangan namin patahimikin ang crowd nila," said Sangalang, carrying a big load with 24 points and nine rebounds in over 40 minutes of action.
Jalalon contributed 19 points, six assists, four rebounds and three steals for the Hotshot who survived the ouster of Abueva with over nine minutes left to play.
"Sobrang saludo ako sa mga players ko," said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero on the brave fight put up by his crippled team.
"We talked about adversity and challenges. I know naman that they will not back down and will keep on pushing. Binigay nila lahat," said Victolero, finding big relief they were able to salvage another win in a tough start to the season.
"It's tough playing five games in two weeks. The goal is to go two out of three (in the last three games). Nakuha naman," he said, hitting the target with big help from guys like Mark Barroca, Rome dela Rosa and Jackson Corpuz.
Dela Rosa went 1-of-4 from the arc but made his fourth and final attempt - the bailout basket for the Hotshots who repelled the Kings' fightback from 14 points down.
Dela Rosa's booming trey made it 89-84 then the Hotshots held the Kings scoreless in the last 1:42 of play.
Christian Standhardinger put in double-double numbers with 12 points and 10 rebounds, and led the charge that had them catching up at 82-all entering the last four minutes of the game.
The Hotshots, however, simply refused to fold up, negating the double-digit outputs of LA Tenorio (15), Scottie Thompson (13), Prince Caperal (11) and Arvin Tolentino (10).
Japeth Aguilar and Stanley Pringle, players barely back from injuries, struggled for nine and six points, respectively. (SB)
Magnolia 89 - Sangalang 24, Jalalon 19, Abueva 9, Corpuz 9, Wong 7, Dela Rosa 7, Laput 6, Barroca 6, Dionisio 2, Escoto 0, Ahanmisi 0.
Ginebra 84 - Tenorio 15, Thompson 13, Standhardinger 12, Caperal 11, Tolentino 10, J.Aguilar 9, Pringle 6, Chan 4, Pinto 4, Mariano 0.
Quarters: 26-21, 47-40, 70-61, 89-84