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Red-hot Hotshots

It’s all about our defense. That’s the main thing that we’ve discussed coming to this game.

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CALVIN Abueva and Magnolia preserve their immaculate record following a 105-83 crushing of Terrafirma. / PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF PBA

Ynares Sports Arena):
2:00 p.m. — Phoenix vs Blackwater
4:35 p.m. — Meralco vs Alaska

Magnolia grabbed the solo leadership in a lopsided fashion as it torched Terrafirma, 105-83, in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup yesterday at the Ynares Sports Arena.

The Hotshots nailed their fourth consecutive win of the season after showcasing their fiery, high-octane game despite missing the services of main gunner Paul Lee early in the game due to leg strain.

Meanwhile, TNT Tropang Giga marked its return to action with a 79-69 win over Rain or Shine in the second game.

Troy Rosario fired 13 points and 14 rebounds while Roger Pogoy registered 13 markers on 6-of-9 field goal shooting for the Tropang Giga, who were quarantine for a week after four of their players tested positive for coronavirus infection.

Big man Ian Sangalang led the assault with 18 points, two rebounds and two assists while veteran playmaker Mark Barroca fired 16 points, six rebounds and two assists.

Rookie Jerrick Ahanmisi also stepped up with 15 points on 4-of-8 three-point shooting while bruiser Calvin Abueva added 14 markers and eight boards.

Jackson Corpuz and Jio Jalalon also finished with 12 and 10 points apiece to underscore Magnolia’s well-balanced offensive attack.

Magnolia coach Chito Victolero said their win should be credited to their airtight defense that limited Terrafirma to a dismal 27 percent shooting from downtown.

“It’s all about our defense. That’s the main thing that we’ve discussed coming to this game,” Victolero said.

“We want to respect Terrafirma and show our mindset. We don’t want to get relaxed and it’s a good thing that they are adapting to that mindset.”

After leading by 10 points heading to the final quarter, the Hotshots stepped on the gas as Barroca, Ahanmisi and Sangalang launched a blistering 20-7 run for a comfortable 91-68 lead, 6:01 left in the game.

Ahanmisi further hit back-to-back triples that extended their gap by as much as 26 points, 94-68, trashing Terrafirma’s attempt for a last minute comeback.

Former top overall pick Roosevelt Adams displayed a game-high double-double of 25 points and 11 rebounds for the Dyip, who remain winless in three outings.

Victolero, meanwhile, emphasized that they are likely to sideline Lee for few more days until they get final results about his status.

“Paul told us that he just felt a slight strain on his leg, so we decided to let him skip this game first. It’s just for precautionary measures,” Victolero added.

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