March 22, 2019

Hotshots sustain romp versus Elite, move to solo sixth

ANTIPOLO -- Magnolia Pambansang Manok completed a twinkill in three nights versus NorthPort and Blackwater, and thus moved up to solo sixth place in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Ynares Sports Center here Friday night.

The Hotshots scored a 97-87 drubbing of the Elite in a follow-up to their 103-90 thumping of the Batang Pier Wednesday over at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Rome dela Rosa, Paul Lee, Ian Sangalang, Rodney Brondial, Rafi Reavis and Mark Barroca all put in double-digit outputs as the Hotshots sustained their charge and assured themselves of at least a playoff for the eighth and last quarterfinals spot with a fifth win in 10 outings.

They return into action versus the NLEX Road Warriors on April 3, gunning for a victory that may guarantee them not just of playoff passage but a spot in the best-of-three quarterfinals.

With the loss, Blackwater, meanwhile, closed out its 2019 all-Filipino tourney with merely two wins against nine losses.

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A major overhaul may well be undertaken by the team management to improve their lineup or the chemistry of the Blackwater roster before the mid-season Governors Cup.

Blackwater coach Bong Ramos has said they're ready for any eventuality.

The Elite tried hard to end the tourney on a winning note, but they just couldn't shake up the Hotshots who played with a sustained energy from their come-from-behind win over the Batang Pier the last time out.

Magnolia bucked the tough challenge of Blackwater and thus broke off a logjam with the Alaska Milk Aces (4-5) and the NLEX Road Warriors (4-5) at sixth place.

Long out of the race for the Top Two, the Hotshots hope to stay in the Top Six to avoid a quarterfinals matchup against a team with a win-once advantage.

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Dela Rosa top scored with 17 points, Sangalang had a double-double game with 16 markers and 10 rebounds and Brondial had his own rare D-D job with 10 buckets and the same number of rebounds.

Lee narrowly missed a double-double with 16 markers and nine rebounds while Reavis and Barroca contributed 11 points each in the well-balanced Magnolia game. (SB)

The scores:

Magnolia 97 - Dela Rosa 17, Lee 16, Sangalang 16, Reavis 11, Barroca 11, Brondial 10, Melton 9, Jalalon 4, Ramos 3, Simon 0, Gamalinda 0, Pascual 0, Abundo 0.

Blackwater 87 - Maliksi 16, Belo 16, Dario 11, Eriobu 10, Al-Hussaini 9, Tratter 8, Banal 7, Digregorio 4, Sena 3, Desiderio 3, Sumang 0, Javier 0.

Quarters: 20-20, 49-41, 68-61, 97-87