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MANILA, Philippines – The PBA version of the Clasico lived up to its billing as Magnolia completed a thrilling 93-91 comeback win over Barangay Ginebra in the Commissioner’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Sunday, November 19.
Tyler Bey sank the marginal free throws in a nerve-racking ending and finished with 31 points, 10 rebounds, 5 steals, and 2 blocks to lift the Hotshots to an improbable victory after they got buried in a 26-point hole.
Bey looked like a man on a mission against the most popular team in the league, erupting for 16 points in the fourth quarter to help keep Magnolia unscathed as it improved to a league-leading 4-0 record.
Jio Jalalon backstopped Bey with 15 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists, taking over in a key third quarter that turned things around for the Hotshots.
The Gin Kings propped up their biggest lead at 51-25 and entered the break comfortably ahead at 60-35 thanks to import Tony Bishop dropping 16 of his team-high-tying 21 points in the first half.
Magnolia, though, chipped away at its deficit and outscored Ginebra 29-12 in the third period, with 9 points coming from Jalalon, to narrow the gap to 64-72 going into the final salvo.
Bey picked up where Jalalon left off as he tied the game at 83-83 and gave the Hotshots their first lead at 85-83 off a roaring slam with 3:30 minutes remaining.
Although the Gin Kings regained the upper hand and led 91-88 off a pair of Bishop free throws with a minute left, Bey knocked down four straight pressure-packed foul shots to put Magnolia in the front seat.
Ginebra then blew two chances down the stretch, with Scottie Thompson missing a tightly contested layup by Mark Barroca, and Christian Standhardinger air-balling a midrange jumper just before the final buzzer sounded.
Bishop also put up 12 rebounds, Maverick Ahanmisi fired 21 points with 13 rebounds and 2 blocks, while Standhardinger saw his near triple-double outing of 13 points, 9 rebounds, and 8 assists go down the drain.
Thompson also flirted with a triple-double with 12 points, 9 assists, and 8 rebounds for the Gin Kings, who fell to 1-1.
Magnolia 93 – Bey 31, Jalalon 15, Barroca 13, Lee 9, Sangalang 8, Dela Rosa 6, J.Ahanmisi 5, Reavis 0, Tratter 0, Eriobu 0, Dionisio 0.
Barangay Ginebra 91 – M. Ahanmisi 21, Bishop 21, Standhardinger 13, J.Aguilar 12, Thompson 12, Pringle 9, Pinto 3, Cu 0, Pessumal 0.
Quarters: 16-34, 35-60, 64-72, 93-91.