Magnolia thwarts Alaska to draw first blood in PBA finals

Delfin Dioquino
Magnolia thwarts Alaska to draw first blood in PBA finals
Romeo Travis and Mark Barroca conspire as the Hotshots take Game 1 of the best-of-seven affair

MANILA, Philippines – Magnolia rode on a blistering start and staved off Alaska’s late stand en route to a 100-84 Game 1 win in the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup finals at the Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday, December 5. 

Romeo Travis stuffed the stats sheet with 29 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists while Mark Barroca stabilized the ship in cruchtime as the Hotshots drew first blood in the best-of-seven finals affair.

The Hotshots saw their 21-point lead trimmed to just 8 points midway through the 4th quarter, 76-84, but Barroca restored order by scoring or assisting on their next 9 points for a 93-76 advantage with 3 minutes left. 

After the Aces shaved their deficit to a single digit behind a 12-0 spurt, Barroca stole the show with a layup, a steal and a triple to give Magnolia an 89-76 lead.

It didn’t end there as the seven-year veteran swiped another steal, assisted a Paul Lee bucket and drained a floater on the next possession to completely dash Alaska’s hopes of a comeback. 

“He’s a veteran,” Magnolia coach Chito Victolero said of Barroca. “He knows how to play in the championship series. He did a good job on both ends.”

Barroca finished with 16 points, 6 steals, 3 assists and 2 rebounds, Lee delivered 14 markers, 3 rebounds and 2 assists while Jio Jalalon flirted with a triple-double of 7 points, 12 rebounds, 9 assists and 4 steals in the win. 

Despite getting into early foul trouble, Ian Sangalang had 10 points and 3 boards while Robbie Herndon had 9 points and 3 rebounds for Magnolia, which is seeking its first championship since 2014. 

The Hotshots clicked on both ends as they erected a 15-0 run to start the match and never relinquished the lead. 

Import Mike Harris paced the Aces with 20 points, 15 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 blocks but he was limited to only 3 points in the second half as Magnolia remained in control. 

Chris Banchero churned out 12 points, 6 assists, 3 rebounds and 3 steals and Jeron Teng had 10 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists in the losing effort. 

Game 2 is on Friday, December 7, at the Araneta Coliseum. 

The Scores

Magnolia 100 – Travis 29, Barroca 16, Lee 14, Sangalang 10, Herndon 9, Melton 7, Reavis 4, Simon 4, Brondial 0, Dela Rosa 0, Pascual 0, Mendoza 0.

Alaska 84 – Harris 20, Banchero 12, Teng 10, Enciso 9, Casio 7, Racal 6, Manuel 6, Pascual 5, Thoss 3, Galliguez 3, Cruz 3, Baclao 0, Exciminiano 0, Andrada 0.

Quarters: 24-14, 52-40, 77-58, 100-84. 

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.


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.