Magnolia downs NLEX in Game 3, nabs 2-1 edge in semis

Delfin Dioquino
Magnolia downs NLEX in Game 3, nabs 2-1 edge in semis
Jio Jalalon and Ian Sangalang combine for 49 points on a 20-of-28 shooting

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Jio Jalalon and Ian Sangalang combined for 49 points and the Magnolia Hotshots repulsed the NLEX Road Warriors in Game 3, 106-99, to go up 2-1 in their best-of-7 semifinals series at the Araneta Coliseum Wednesday, March 14. 

Jalalon scored 25 points on a 10-of-13 shooting and added 5 rebounds, 3 assists and two steals while Ian Sangalang finished with 24 points on a 10-of-15 clip to go with 7 rebounds as Magnolia beat NLEX for the second straight game following an 87-88 Game 1 loss. 

The Hotshots held a slim 91-89 lead before unloading an 11-4 spurt to take a 102-93 advantage with less 3 minutes left. 

NLEX would come to as close as 7 points, 99-106, following a Kevin Alas bucket with 27 seconds but its deficit was too large to overcome as time ran out on the Road Warriors.

Rome dela Rosa added 17 points and 7 rebounds and Paul Lee chipped in 14 points, 6 assists and 3 rebounds in the win. 

“It’s all about the team effort and sustaining the aggressiveness and intensity. We want ‘yung momentum noong Game 2 madala sa Game 3 (We wanted the momentum from Game 2 to be carried over to Game 3),” Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero. 

Magnolia missed the services of Marc Pingris (ACL injury) and Justin Melton (strained hamstring) for the second straight game but that hardly showed as they shot a stellar 52% from the field. 

NLEX was atrocious from the free throw line, missing 11 of its 29 foul shots, including 5 in the final quarter. 

Kiefer Ravena paced the Road Warriors with 20 points and 5 rebounds while Kevin Alas added 15 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists.

Game 4 is on Friday, March 14, at the Mall of Asia Arena. 

The Scores:

Magnolia (106) Jalalon 25, Sangalang 24, Dela Rosa 17, Lee 14, Ramos 7, Simon 7, Barroca 6, Herndon 4, Reavis 2, Brondial 0, Pascual 0

NLEX (99): Ravena 20, Alas 15, Quinahan 13, Miranda 11, Fonacier 10, Mallari 9, Al-Hussaini 8, Gotladera 6, Tiongson 3, Taulava 2, Baguio 2

Quarter scores: 24-27, 51-53, 79-78, 106-99

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.