Paul Lee exploded for 28 points as Magnolia hammered a masterful 92-78 victory against Meralco in the Game 2 of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup at the Don Honorio Ventura State University in Bacolor, Pampanga.
The Hotshots now gained a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven semis showdown after Lee sizzled early in the game, hitting 17 points in the first half, to go with his two rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Ian Sangalang displayed a double-double game of 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Calvin Abueva provided 11 markers, 11 boards and three assists.
Protecting a 64-58 advantage going to the payoff period, Abueva hit five straight markers that pushed their lead to 11, 69-58, with 10:46 remaining in the game.
Reynel Hugnatan tried to inch Meralco closer as close to eight, 67-75, with 6:50 to go, but failed to complete a comeback due to the absence of their big men Raymond Almazan and Cliff Hodge.
Alamazan was sidelined due to a sprained ankle early in the second half while Hodge was ejected late in the third quarter.
Chris Newsome’s team-high 18 points, four rebounds and seven assists went down the drain as the Bolts slipped to 0-2 in the series.
MAGNOLIA 92 – Lee 28, Sangalang 16, Abueva 11, Dela Rosa 8, Melton 6, Jalalon 4, Reavis 6, Corpuz 4, Barroca 4, Dionisio 3, Pascual 2
MERALCO 78 – Newsome 18, Hugnatan 12, Pinto 12, Quinto 7, Belo 7, Almazan 6, Caram 4, Hodge 3, Maliksi 7, Jose 2, Pasaol 0, Baclao 0
Quarters: 13-13, 38-26, 64-58, 92-78