PBA Commissioner’s Cup

Rakocevic posts 20-20, Lee hits clutch shots as No. 1 Magnolia outlasts San Miguel

Delfin Dioquino
Rakocevic posts 20-20, Lee hits clutch shots as No. 1 Magnolia outlasts San Miguel

CLUTCH. Paul Lee knocks down the biggest shots down the stretch for Magnolia.

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Quarterfinals-bound Magnolia improves to 8-1 as it deals sister team San Miguel its fifth loss

MANILA, Philippines – Magnolia remained perched atop the PBA Commissioner’s Cup standings after eking out an 85-80 win over San Miguel at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, November 16.

Import Nick Rakocevic posted lofty numbers of 26 points, 28 rebounds, and 3 steals, while Paul Lee knocked down the biggest buckets late as the quarterfinals-bound Hotshots raised their record to a league-leading 8-1.

Lee scored 8 of his 14 points in the final two minutes to keep the Beermen at bay and eventually send the defending champions to their second straight defeat.

San Miguel got within a whisker after a Devon Scott basket, 76-77, before Lee drained back-to-back three-pointers – getting the lucky bounce on the second one – as Magnolia built a seven-point cushion, 83-76.

Although the Beermen scored 4 straight points to once again trim their deficit to a single possession, 83-80, Lee sealed the win for the Hotshots with a pair of free throws with 10 seconds left.

Ian Sangalang posted a double-double of 12 points and 14 rebounds, while Mark Barroca put up 12 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists as Magnolia boosted its bid for a top-two finish, which merits a twice-to-beat playoff bonus.

Jio Jalalon added 6 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals in the Hotshots’ third straight victory.

Scott chalked up 19 points, 17 rebounds, and 5 assists in the loss as San Miguel dropped to ninth place with a 3-5 record.

CJ Perez, Marcio Lassiter, and Vic Manuel all delivered 16 points for the Beermen.

The Scores

Magnolia 85 – Rakocevic 26, Lee 14, Sangalang 12, Barroca 12, Jalalon 6, Abueva 5, Wong 4, Dela Rosa 2, Corpuz 2, Ahanmisi 2, Laput 0, Dionisio 0.

San Miguel 80 – Scott 19, Lassiter 16, Perez 16, Manuel 16, Tautuaa 6, Ross 3, Herndon 2, Brondial 2, Enciso 0, Cruz 0.

Quarters: 23-25, 37-37, 65-60, 85-80.

– Rappler.com

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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.