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Magnolia stays perfect

I hope that this momentum of ours will finally continue, because we will face two big teams after Wednesday.

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PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF PBA

Games on Wednesday

(Ynares Sports Arena):

12:30 p.m — San Miguel vs Blackwater

3:00 p.m — Rain or Shine vs Alaska

6:00 p.m — Phoenix vs Meralco

Magnolia turned to Paul Lee and Ian Sangalang for firepower as the Hotshots posted an 89-79 victory over defending champion Barangay Ginebra last night in the Philippine Basketball Association Philippine Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

The Hotshots banked on its high-octane offense to gain a share of the lead alongside Rain or Shine with identical 3-0 cards.

Lee drilled in 22 points, collared three rebounds and three assists while Sangalang hit 17 and also three boards.

Mark Barroca and Calvin Abueva also made their presence felt with 15 points apice.

Stanley Pringle’s 22-point explosion went for naught for Ginebra, which dropped to 1-2.

Meanwhile, San Miguel survived a late scare as Arwind Santos sank a game-winner against Northport, 88-86.

The 40-year old Santos came up with a vintage performance, giving the Beermen the win with two seconds left amid a furious rally built around returning big man Greg Slaughter.

The 7-foot Slaughter banged in a game-high 23 points and 17 rebounds in his first game since being acquired from Ginebra in exchange for Christian Standhardinger during the off-season.

CJ Perez led the way for San Miguel with 18 points, eight boards, five steals and two feeds while Santos chipped in 17, five boards and three blocks as San Miguel improved to 2-1.

Alex Cabagnot added 16 markers, seven assists and three steals and big man Mo Tautuaa added 11 points in a balanced attack for San Miguel.

Head coach Leo Austria admitted it was an “ugly win” and the veterans simply stepped up to the plate.

“At least our veterans stepped up and that’s what I’ve been expecting from them,” Austria said.

“We are happy that we snatched this game. This could give us some momentum going into the next three games.”

Enjoying a 79-63 advantage after the third quarter, San Miguel found itself in panic mode as the Batang Pier levelled the count at 86 with seven ticks to go behind Robert Bolick.

It was at this time when Santos settled the issue after a pass from Marcio Lassiter.

“I hope that this momentum of ours will finally continue, because we will face two big teams after Wednesday,” Austria added.

First Game

SAN MIGUEL (88) — Perez 18, Santos 17, Cabagnot 16, Tautuaa 11, Fajardo 8, Lassiter 6, Pessumal 6, Ross 3, Gamalinda 3.

NORTHPORT (86) – Slaughter 23, Bolick 18, Onwubere 12, Balanza 11, Malonzo 10, Taha 9, Rike 1, Ferrer 1, Faundo 0, Elorde 0, Doliguez 0.

Quarters: 21-21, 52-45, 79-63, 88-86

Second Game

MAGNOLIA (89) — Lee 22, Sangalang 17, Abueva 15, Barroca 15, Corpuz 9, Jalalon 5, De la Rosa 4, Reavis 2, Dionisio 0, Pascual 0, Ahanmisi 0.

GINEBRA (79) — Pringle 22, Tenorio 13, Standhardinger 13, Thompson 13, J. Aguilar 9, Chan 9, Caperal 0, Dillinger 0, Ayaay 0, Devance 0.

Quarters: 22-22, 46-42, 67-56, 89-79.

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