Magnolia eliminates Ginebra anew to reach semis
MANILA, Philippines – Magnolia booted out Barangay Ginebra for the second straight conference as it reached the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals with an 85-72 win at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, April 10.
Paul Lee caught fire for 25 points off 5 three-pointers as the Hotshots built a lead large enough to hold off the Gin Kings in the do-or-die match of the best-of-three quarterfinals series.
Lee hit his shots at the right time, burying a triple that gave Magnolia a comfortable 68-48 lead and another one with less than 3 minutes left in the payoff period that dashed all hopes of a Ginebra comeback.
Despite trailing by as much as 22 points, the Gin Kings did not go out without a fight as Jeff Chan poured in all of his 17 points in the 4th quarter alone.
Slowly but surely, Chan chiseled away at the Hotshots' lead and put his side within single digit with 3:15 minutes left in the game after splitting his free throws, 69-78.
But Lee immediately rained on his Chan's parade with a trey from the top of the arc – his only points in the 4th quarter – as Magnolia brought its lead back to double figures en route to the win.
Mark Barroca had 13 points, Aldrech Ramos added 11 points while Ian Sangalang chimed in 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Hotshots, who won the Governors' Cup title last year after eliminating the Gin Kings in the semifinals.
Magnolia will face Rain or Shine in a best-of-seven semifinals affair starting Friday, April 12, at the same venue.
Japeth Aguilar chalked up 16 points and 7 rebounds, Joe Devance had 12 points while Scottie Thompson grabbed a career-high 19 rebounds for Ginebra, which crumbled down in the 3rd quarter after a seesaw first half.
The Gin Kings were down by just 8 points midway through the 3rd period, 48-56, before the Hotshots unloaded a 12-0 blitz sparked and capped by triples from Ramos and Lee to stretch their lead to 20 points.
Ginebra goes back to the drawing board as it defends its Commissioner's Cup championship.
Magnolia 85 - Lee 25, Barroca 13, Ramos 11, Sangalang 10, Reavis 6, Jalalon 6, Brondial 5, Dela Rosa 4, Melton 3, Herndon 2.
Ginebra 72 - Chan 17, Aguilar 16, Devance 12, Slaughter 9, Mercado 8, Tenorio 5, Thompson 3, Dela Cruz 2, Ferrer 0.
Quarters: 20-23, 42-37, 70-50, 85-72.