Apr 17, 2024

Hotshots roll to third straight win with disposal of Bossing

JUST like in their previous game, the Magnolia Hotshots cranked up in their return from the halftime break and rolled to a third straight win with an 81-77 drubbing of the Blackwater Bossing in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium Wednesday night.

The Hotshots gained some separation, 56-45, on a 22-11 tear in the third period then stretched their lead to 17 early in the fourth as they kept their winning run going to an expected battle with the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in Tiaong, Quezon on Saturday.

The Hotshots are at 4-2 while the Elasto Painters are at 5-4 (unbeaten in their last five outings) as they set out for their crucial road showdown.

"(Rain or Shine) is the hottest team right now, and we have to be mentally and physically ready against them. Parehas naman naglaro tonight so parehas nang kondisyon. Magandang laban yon, at sana mapasaya namin ang taga Tiaong," said coach Chito Victolero.

Shortly after the E-Painters took care of business versus the NorthPort Batang Pier, the Hotshots did theirs with a lineup shored up by the return of Aris Dionisio and the addition of trade recruit Jerrick Balanza.

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"Nabubuo na uli kami, at competitive na ang ensayo namin -- bagay na nadadala namin sa laro" said Victolero.

Against Blackwater, Victolero utilized 13 guys, with Mark Barroca leading four who turned in double-digit outputs.

Barroca logged in 19 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals as he gained Best Player honors for the second straight game.

Paul Lee, Ian Sangalang and Calvin Abueva chipped 10 points each as the Hotshot broke loose from a 34-all halftime count and went on to deal the Bossing a fifth straight loss after a promising 3-0 conference start.

Abueva came through with a double-double as he snared 13 rebounds.

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James Kwekuteye and Troy Rosario led the losing side with 23 and 20 points, respectively.

It was a struggle early on for Magnolia.

"We're disrupted by their defense kaya nga mas marami pa ang errors namin kaysa assists," rued Victolero.

Playing smarter in the second half enabled the Hotshots to seize control and eventually take the win.(SB)