PBA Commissioner’s Cup

Streak buster: Magnolia denies San Miguel bid for history in finals stunner

Delfin Dioquino

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Streak buster: Magnolia denies San Miguel bid for history in finals stunner

REVERSE. Mark Barroca in action for the Magnolia Hotshots in the 2023-24 PBA Commissioner's Cup.

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Facing seemingly insurmountable odds, Magnolia gets back into the PBA Commissioner's Cup finals and denies San Miguel a new franchise record

MANILA, Philippines – What sweep?

Facing seemingly insurmountable odds, Magnolia got back into the PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals and denied San Miguel a new franchise record with an inspired 88-80 win at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, February 7.

Mark Barroca took over in the fourth quarter both as a scorer and playmaker as the Hotshots trimmed their deficit in the best-of-seven series to 1-2 and effectively ended the sensational 11-game winning streak of the Beermen.

San Miguel came into the game with hopes of putting Magnolia on the brink of a sweep and resetting their franchise mark for most consecutive victories.

But Barroca, who finished with 20 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals, had other plans.

With the Beermen breathing down their necks and trailing closely at 62-65, Barroca hit a bank shot and assisted on back-to-back Aris Dionisio three-pointers as part of an 11-0 spurt that gave the Hotshots a 76-62 lead.

Paul Lee capped that run with another trey as he played his best game in the finals with 12 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists after being limited to just 11 points combined in the first two games.

“Everyone stepped up. We hit some big shots,” said Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero.

While the Hotshots finally clicked offensively, it was on the defensive end where they really thrived.

After allowing San Miguel to average 106 points in the first two games, Magnolia limited San Miguel to its lowest scoring output of the conference.

San Miguel import Bennie Boatwright still finished with 27 points and 13 rebounds, but he missed 18 of his 28 field goals and coughed up a whopping 8 turnovers.

“Our mentality is we have our backs against the wall. We put a priority on defense because that is our identity,” said Barroca.

The Scores

Magnolia 88 –Barroca 20, Lee 12, Bey 11, Sangalang 11, Dionisio 11, Jalalon 10, Dela Rosa 7, Abueva 6, Escoto 0, Laput 0, Reavis 0.

San Miguel 80 – Boatwright 27, Perez 16, Fajardo 11, Teng 10, Trollano 7, Lassiter 4, Brondial 3, Ross 2, Enciso 0, Tautuaa 0

Quarters: 24-15, 42-39, 63-58, 88-80.

– 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.