Pingris returns as Magnolia escapes Phoenix to extend winning streak

Delfin Dioquino
Paul Lee and import James Farr rise to the occasion to give the Hotshots their third straight win

FIERY. Paul Lee and Magnolia maintain their hot streak after starting the conference on the wrong foot. Photo from PBA Images

MANILA, Philippines – Magnolia built a lead large enough to nose out Phoenix, 99-96, and extend its winning streak in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome on Saturday, June 22. 

Paul Lee chalked up 27 points and 7 assists, while import James Farr had 26 points, 18 rebounds, and 3 blocks as the Hotshots earned their third straight win after dropping back-to-back games to start the conference.

The Fuel Masters, though, almost staged a come-from-behind win as they managed to shave an 11-point deficit to just 3 points in a run capped by an RJ Jazul three-pointer with 5 seconds remaining.

But Magnolia remained composed in the dying ticks to escape with the victory as Lee secured the ball in the face of 3 defenders attempting to force a turnover. 

Aside from the triumph, the Hotshots also celebrated the return of veteran Marc Pingris, who last played in March 2018 after suffering an ACL injury.

Pingris, limited to a shade under 8 minutes, was scoreless but managed to pull down 3 rebounds. 

Mark Barroca added 11 points, Jio Jalalon chipped in 10 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists, while Ian Sangalang added 8 points and 8 rebounds for Magnolia. 

Richard Howell dominated in the paint with 36 points, 20 rebounds, and 2 blocks, but Phoenix failed to pull off back-to-back wins as it fell to 2-4. 

Matthew Wright delivered 19 points, 8 assists, 4 rebounds, and 3 blocks, while Jazul put up 15 points in the losing effort. 

The Scores

Magnolia 99 – Lee 27, Farr 26, Barroca 11, Jalalon 10, Dela Rosa 8, Sangalang 8, Brondial 7, Melton 2, Pascual 0, Pingris 0, Herndon 0.

Phoenix 96 – Howell 36, Wright 19, Jazul 15, Chua 8, Marcelo 7, Mallari 6, Wilson 3, Dennison 2, Perkins 0, Kramer 0, Intal 0.

Quarters: 23-24, 47-45, 71-67, 99-96.

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.