February 09, 2024

Magnolia evens series at 2-2

BACK to square one.

Magnolia took its turn to deal San Miguel Beer back-to-back losses in the PBA Season 48 Commissioner's Cup finals via a 96-85 Game 4 verdict to tie it all up at 2-2 Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Tyler Bey held high-scoring SMB counterpart Bennie Boatwright to his lowest output of 16 on a 5-of-16 shooting while turning in an astounding 26 markers, 12 rebounds and six steals to key Magnolia's followup to their 88-80 win in Game 3.

After going 0-2 on 95-103 and 95-109 beatdown at the hands of SMB, coach Chito Victolero's charges now hold momentum as the sibling rivals start all over beginning Sunday's Game 5.

Just like in its must-win effort two nights before, Magnolia prevented the SMB juggernaut from getting going.

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"Everyone embraced our defensive mindset, especially Tyler," said Victolero, whose wards forced Beermen to a 30-of-81 shooting (37 percent), low for their standard.

"Everything boils down to our defense. We limited them to under-90 points and that's our goal. As long as the series becomes a defensive battle, we have a chance to win games."

Mark Barroca (14), Paul Lee (14), Ian Sangalang (13) and Jio Jalalon (10) delivered the offensive support for Magnolia, which pulled away via a 24-12 exchange in the fourth quarter.

With Boatwright struggling, June Mar Fajardo led the way for SMB with 18-13 but played sparingly in the second half due to calf issues.
CJ Perez, fresh from winning his maiden Best Player of the Conference award, shot 17 in a foul-riddled outing.(OL)

The Scores:
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MAGNOLIA 96 - Bey 26, Barroca 14, Lee 14, Sangalang 13, Jalalon 10, Abueva 9, Dionisio 6, Dela Rosa 2, Laput 2, Escoto 0, Tratter 0.

SAN MIGUEL 85 - Fajardo 18, Perez 17, Boatwright 16, Trollano 12, Cruz 11, Lassiter 9, Teng 2, Tautuaa 0, Ross 0.

QUARTERS: 27-19, 49-45, 72-73, 96-85